Debra DeMeis Named Wellesley College's Dean of Students

For immediate release:
March 6, 2008

Contact: Molly Tarantino,

DeMeisWELLESLEY, Mass. — Wellesley College has announced the appointment of Debra DeMeis as the Dean of Students. DeMeis, the dean of the college at William Smith College in Geneva, New York, was selected after a comprehensive national search.

“Debra is a seasoned student affairs professional with significant experience in students’ academic development, academic advising and leadership development,” said President H. Kim Bottomly in making the announcement. “I look forward to welcoming her as a member of the college's senior management team and am excited by the considerable skill she will bring in bridging the curricular and co-curricular experience of students.” DeMeis, who will join the Wellesley community July 1, succeeds Kimberly Goff-Crews, who is now Vice President and Dean of Students at the University of Chicago.

“To be associated with an institution that has such a rich history and bright future is truly an honor,” said DeMeis. “In my visits to campus,
I have been struck by the maturity and focus of Wellesley students and by their dedication to learning both inside and outside the classroom. I look forward to working with President Bottomly, students, faculty and staff to ensure that Wellesley continues to provide the education and opportunities necessary for Wellesley women to make a difference wherever they go.”

In her role as dean at William Smith, the women’s component of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, DeMeis chaired the president’s task force on diversity, co-chaired the committee to create a master plan for residence hall construction and renovation, and helped create a collaborative internship program.  Before becoming dean in 1995, she was on the faculties of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges and The Ohio State University.

She holds a bachelor of science in psychology from Bowling Green State University, and masters and doctoral degrees in developmental psychology from West Virginia University. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Society for the Research in Child Development and since 1999 has been a reviewer for Psychology of Women Quarterly.

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries.