Doneka Scott, VP for Student Success, to leave for NC State

Doneka was a big supporter of SAIL and worked with many Econ honors students on empirical research projects involving student retention and graduation. She’ll be missed!

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to let you know that Doneka Scott, vice provost for Undergraduate Education and Student Success, has accepted a position as vice chancellor and dean for the Division of Academic and Student Affairs at North Carolina State University. Her last day at University of Oregon will be February 12, 2021. I send this message with strongly mixed emotions, as Doneka has played a vital role in dramatically advancing our student success mission. Yet, I am happy that Doneka is able to move on to a top leadership position with a diverse and comprehensive portfolio at an important research university.Since joining UO in 2016 as associate vice provost for student success, Doneka has been the leader of these efforts on our campus. She built the requisite infrastructure needed to support students, eliminated institutional silos, and facilitated collaborations to ensure we fully stood behind our students’ academic pursuits.She has engaged faculty, staff, and students campus-wide to develop and implement dozens of initiatives to improve student performance. Under her leadership, we accomplished the goal President Schill set to increase four-year graduation rates by 10 percentage points, one year earlier than targeted.

Doneka has been a fierce advocate for student access and success, working tirelessly to remove institutional barriers that inhibit students from progression to their degrees. As the architect of the “Flight Paths” framework for first-year programs and academic and career advising, she was integral in helping UO launch Tykeson Hall and re-envisioning academic advising at the institution. Her work has always been student-centered and guided by principles that the young people in our charge can and will be successful, and graduate in a timely manner.

We are grateful for her commitment to our students’ success and the greater UO community over the past four years. No doubt, there will be questions about the process of how we replace Doneka, and I will provide more information soon once my office establishes a plan for a permanent search.

After consulting with my leadership team, I have asked Kimberly Johnson, assistant vice provost for advising, to serve as the interim vice provost for UESS. Her first day in the role will be on February 15, 2021. We are grateful for Kimberly’s willingness to serve in the interim capacity and help us as we seek out a permanent replacement.

Please join me in congratulating Doneka and sharing appreciation for the profound impact she has had on the university. As a trusted member of, an advocate for, and a mentor to many in the UO community, we will miss her greatly, and we wish her the very best.


Patrick Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President

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4 Responses to Doneka Scott, VP for Student Success, to leave for NC State

  1. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    The improvement in graduation rates is a real accomplishment, assuming it was all on the up and up (I’ve heard some grumbling about that, but that’s all I know.)

    She may have been one of those exceptional highly paid admins who actually was worth more.

  2. uomatters says:

    The standard way to improve graduation rates is to cut back on admissions of low-income students. I haven’t seen any sign UO has done that. Instead we’ve put money and resources into the Pathway Oregon program, which now graduates them at the same rate as rich kids. Connie Balmer gave a lot of money for this, it’s been spent well.
    Worth noting that these increases happened *before* we built Tykeson and Pres Schill centralized advising.

  3. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    Grumbling I’ve heard is that weak students are being encouraged to major in easier subjects. Have no idea whether that is true. Not sure that that would be a bad thing. In any case, I doubt that it would be enough to yield a 10% rise in grad rates.

    So thanks to Connie Balmer if she has helped enable this.

    • oldtimer says:

      in my experience, that kind of advice from advisers has been the case for decades, so nothing new in that. Of course the intensity of the advice might have increased.

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