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Vice President for Student Affairs

Dr. Melissa E. Exum

Dr. Melissa E. Exum

Dr. 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, Dr. Exum worked in various capacities with the most recent being Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students.

Dr. 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.

As Vice President, Dr. 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.”

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.

Encouraging and empowering students to strive for excellence in everything they do is a passion of Dr. Exum’s. “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 Dr. Exum’s extensive work in Student Affairs at Ohio University, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, and UNC-Chapel Hill, she has worked in private industry and state government in the area of evaluation research and budget planning.