K.C. Mmeje (pronounced MAY-jay) serves as vice president for Student Affairs at SMU. In his current role, Dr. Mmeje provides strategic leadership for areas that directly impact a student’s success and sense of belonging on campus. He oversees the Office of the Dean of Students, Residence Life and Student Housing, Women and LGBT Center, the Hegi Family Career Development Center and campus ministries. He also leads health and wellness programs and offices, including the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center, Hughes-Trigg Student Center and Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports.
Driven by an earnest desire to provide an exceptional experience for all SMU students, Mmeje pioneered the development and implementation of Student Affairs’ strategic plan, Cultivating Courageous Change – a guiding ethos outlining the division’s commitment to fostering a dynamic, vibrant and inclusive campus that supports continued student development and learning. He was also instrumental in the multimillion-dollar renovation of Hughes-Trigg. Completed in 2021, the reimagined facility in the heart of the Hilltop serves as a space where students come together to socialize, dine, study and participate in the full slate of campus activities.
Prior to joining SMU, Mmeje served as the assistant vice president and dean of students at Loyola University in Chicago (LUC). He also worked in various roles serving students while at the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of Vermont (UVM).
Mmeje received his bachelor’s degree in sociology and Black studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, his master’s degree in higher education student affairs administration from the University of Vermont and his doctorate in educational leadership from USC. Mmeje is the recipient of the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students’ (NISTS) 2013 Barbara K. Townsend Dissertation of the Year Award.
He has published numerous articles and book chapters in the following areas: improving student success and retention for historically underserved students; institutional effectiveness in producing equitable educational outcomes for historically underserved populations; and the declining rates of participation among college men in leadership and involvement opportunities.
Mmeje serves on the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) NUFP Board, the UCSB Alumni Association Board of Directors and the University of Vermont’s College of Education and Social Sciences (CESS) Advisory Board. Lastly, Mmeje is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and is an active member of its Xi Tau Lambda Chapter.