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Rhodes College appoints new president

Jennifer Collins is currently the Judge James Noel Dean and law professor at Southern Methodist University in Texas.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Jennifer Collins has been appointed as the new President of Rhodes College after a unanimous vote by the Board of Trustees.

In a news release, Collins was described as "an inspiring leader, beloved educator, and committed proponent of the value of the liberal arts". She is currently the Judge James Noel Dean and law professor at Southern Methodist University in Texas.

“The appointment of Jennifer Collins is the happy result of a lengthy and thorough national search which drew interest and applications from an incredibly diverse pool of candidates from inside and outside higher education,” said Rhodes College Board of Trustees Chair and Presidential Search Committee Co-chair Cary Fowler. “What made it clear to the search committee that President-elect Collins was the right choice for Rhodes was the combination of her exceptional leadership, her commitment to the promise of the liberal arts, and her passion for the possibilities inherent in Rhodes. She will be a welcome presence on campus and an engaged citizen of Memphis.”

Since 2014, Collins has worked as the dean of the Dedman School of Law at SMU, where she works with more than 100 faculty members and supports more than 800 domestic and international students. 

She joined the law faculty at Wake Forest University in North Carolina in 2003 and was named associate provost for academic and strategic initiatives in 2010 and vice provost in 2013. 

Collins is set to begin her role on July 1, 2022, succeeding Interim President Carroll Stevens, who has served the college since July 1, 2021, after President Marjorie Hass left.