Jeffery Burgin

November 05, 2021

Longtime educator is SIU’s new vice chancellor for student affairs

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Jeffery T. Burgin Jr., a longtime leader in collegiate student engagement and student affairs, will be Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s new vice chancellor for student affairs beginning Monday, Nov. 8.

Burgin said he was drawn to SIU by the university’s reputation for outstanding student services and support and because it is a model institution for academics, and he is looking forward to helping enhance that coveted reputation.  

Chancellor Austin Lane said the new vice chancellor will play a key role in implementing the Imagine 2030 strategic plan, whose pillars include student success and engagement, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion.

“Dr. Burgin will be an excellent addition to our university leadership team,” Lane said. “The people who interviewed him told us they were impressed with his credentials and his long, extensive career in higher education and student affairs. I am excited to work with him.”

Experienced and collaborative

Burgin completed his bachelor’s degree in African American studies/pre-law at the University of Cincinnati and his master’s degree in college student personnel at Ohio University in Athens. He also earned a doctorate in higher education administration at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, along with numerous other professional development certifications.

For more than two decades, he has worked in various student affairs and college administrative positions at universities in Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky.  He has facilitated partnerships with international universities, overseen multimillion-dollar building projects, created multicultural student organizations and implemented numerous other initiatives.

Most recently, as vice president of student affairs at Talladega College, Alabama's first private historically black liberal arts college, his efforts included creating an initiative to help male students complete their degrees and a cross-functional task force, chartering a leadership honor society and chairing the COVID-19 task force.

“I have served as a chief student affairs officer at multiple institutions and have always consider this as a calling and not work,” Burgin said. “This opportunity to pour into the lives of others to transform communities and the world drives me daily.” 

He said he appreciates the opportunities his education has provided him and looks forward to working with others to transform lives at SIU Carbondale.

“As the new person, it is important to work diligently to listen and hear the thoughts of stakeholders so we can work collaboratively to foster a better SIU,” Burgin said.  “And of course, I look forward to supporting the mission of Chancellor Lane and the university.”

Forward looking

Burgin also believes it’s important that the focus of student affairs be on the student not just now but in the future. 

“This means enhancing the life cycles of students as we recruit, they matriculate and ultimately, become alumni,” Burgin said. “We should make our programs and initiatives assist in the academic and social development of students so they can contribute to any community they will be part of after graduation. This takes a group effort. I am excited to speak with students about how we can assist in fulfilling their dreams.”

Burgin is also eager to get involved in the region.

 “My wife, Camille, and I look forward to being fully engaged in Carbondale and the surrounding community,” Burgin said. “When there is a community that could be classified as special, you want to be part of it.”

Lane expressed his appreciation to Jennifer Jones-Hall, dean of students, for serving as interim vice chancellor during the search for a permanent vice chancellor.