SMU names new dean of Residence Life and Student Housing

Melinda Carlson
Melinda Carlson

Melinda Pullen Carlson, a student affairs professional with expertise in residence life and student learning, has been named assistant vice president and dean of Residence Life and Student Housing at SMU. She will begin her duties January 22, 2019.

“Melinda is a dynamic leader who strongly believes in creating vibrant residential communities that promote academic engagement and student development,” said K.C. Mmeje, SMU vice president for student affairs. “Her compelling vision for SMU’s Residential Commons, her student-centered approach and her depth and range of experiences made her the clear choice for this position. I look forward to the continued growth of our Residential Commons under her leadership.”

Carlson was selected after a competitive national search, which was coordinated by a campus committee chaired by Adam Cebulski, assistant vice president and chief of staff in Student Affairs.

Carlson has 25 years of experience in higher education, most recently at Saint Louis University, where she served as director of housing, residence life and student involvement, and provided oversight for campus dining.

She previously served as associate dean of students and chief judicial officer at the University of Mississippi, where she advised student government, supervised fraternity and sorority life staff and coordinated campus crisis response.

Her other positions have included associate director for residence life at the University of Mississippi, associate dean of students and director of student housing and residence life at Arkansas Tech University, assistant director of residence life at the University of Northern Colorado and coordinator of academic enhancement services at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Carlson attended Eastern Illinois University and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education, with a focus on guidance and counseling/college student personnel. She is involved in the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International and the American College Personnel Association, and has served as faculty for the National Housing Training Institute.