The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) has welcomed Kevin L. Williams Ph.D. as its new vice provost for access and enrollment services. Dr. Williams comes to UVI having served in leadership roles in enrollment management, admissions, retention and diversity – most recently at Talladega College in Alabama, but also at Mississippi Valley State University, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Ross University and others.
“I was a finalist for this position three years ago,” said Williams, who has been following UVI closely through the network of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to which he has devoted his career. “So when it came up again I was excited and very happy now that it all came together. I’m feeling great about the team, the support I’ve received since I got here, and making the adjustment to island life. It’s wonderful to wake up every morning feeling enthusiastic about what the day will bring.”
Williams’ primary focus will be on expanding the population of territory, stateside and international students enrolling at UVI through marketing, branding, outreach and staff development. To expand awareness and interest of students attending the university, the new vice provost plans to concentrate on recruitment as well as updating UVI’s marketing materials.
“In order to tell the UVI story to students who are not already familiar with the university, you need to be very social media savvy,” said Williams. “You need to engage in creative outreach campaigns, attend HBCU and other college fairs, visit schools and utilize current UVI students themselves to talk about what they’re doing and share their successes.”
Williams acknowledged that UVI presents several unique marketing challenges. Not only is competition for college-ready applicants fierce these days because students have so many choices, but most students from the U.S. mainland don’t know that UVI exists. Nevertheless, he relishes the opportunity to raise awareness about the country’s youngest HBCU by taking the UVI story on both physical and virtual roads.
In addition to graduating from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, he holds a Master’s in Business Administration from American Intercontinental University and a Ph.D. in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University. Throughout his previous work, Williams had oversight of undergraduate and graduate admissions, where he implemented various innovative strategies leading to enrollment increases.