Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Vice President for Student Affairs
Melissa Exum joined Purdue University as vice president for the division of student affairs in August 2010 after serving 12 years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at Chapel Hill she worked in various capacities with the most recent being associate vice chancellor and dean of students.
She began her career as acting assistant director of residential life at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County in 1986, and then coordinator for special services from 1987-1988. She spent nine years at Ohio University, starting as assistant director of student activities. She was named assistant dean of students in 1993, then associate dean of students in 1995 and associate vice president of student affairs in 1997. In 1998 she was named assistant vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2005 she was promoted to associate vice chancellor for student affairs.
As vice president, Exum believes that one of the foremost goals of student affairs should be to assist students in a developmental process that is holistic and emphasizes learning. "Our training as student affairs professionals positions us to help students learn about themselves, others and the communities in which they will live, work and raise families."
Exum was born and raised in Warrenton, North Carolina. She received her bachelor's degree in sociology, from Wake Forest University, a master's degree in medical sociology from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, and a doctorate in higher education administration from Ohio University.
Encouraging and empowering students to strive for excellence in everything they do is a passion of hers. "We must all believe in the power behind what is possible and commit ourselves to these young people and their success at Purdue and beyond."
In addition to her extensive work in student affairs at Ohio University, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and UNC-Chapel Hill, Exum has worked in private industry and state government in the area of evaluation research and budget planning.