Reed College’s Vice President for Student Life Elected to National Student Affairs Board

Karnell McConnell-Black, Ed.D. will bring a commitment to inclusive excellence to his new role.

February 21, 2024
PORTLAND — Vice President for Student Life at Reed College Karnell McConnell-Black, Ed.D., has been elected by the membership to serve as the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Region V Director. Region V includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington as well as the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. His term begins as RD Elect this March; he will serve as Region Director from 2025 until 2027.
Expressing unwavering commitment, McConnell-Black stated, “In our rapidly changing higher education landscape, marked by increased diversity, my goal is to channel the collective wisdom and energy of our profession toward our members’ needs, while providing resources and steadfast support to position our region and association for the challenges of our time and field.”
Grounded in an inclusive excellence praxis, McConnell-Black, who is known on campus as Dr. K, strategically positions the student experience as a linchpin in determining institutional success. His perspectives illuminate the delicate equilibrium senior-level administrators must navigate between sustaining institutional viability and implementing measures that prioritize student-centric outcomes. Additionally, McConnell-Black offers valuable insights into the nuanced experiences of underserved students as they navigate the non-academic dimensions of collegiate life. His commitment to inclusive excellence is evident in his research, which examines how market-value pressures shape student affairs professionals and higher education organizations’ understanding of student success, ultimately limiting the capacity to foster students’ social and cognitive growth when success is narrowly defined.
“I am delighted that Karnell has been elected to serve on this national stage,” Reed College President Audrey Bilger said. “It is important for leaders at Reed to lend their insights to groups that further the mission of higher education and support students through their academic journeys. Karnell has dedicated himself to this work and has a great deal to contribute.”
About NASPA 
NASPA is a member-centered association based in the United States supporting a diverse and passionate network of 15,000 professionals and 1,200 institutions across the globe.
About Reed College
Founded in 1908 in southeast Portland, Oregon, Reed College is a coeducational, independent liberal arts and sciences college. Referred to as one of the most intellectual colleges in the country, Reed is known for its high standards of scholarly practice, creative thinking, and engaged citizenship.