Melissa Shivers, PhD

Dr. Melissa Shivers is the Senior Vice President for Student Life at The Ohio State University where she serves on the university’s senior administration team and provides leadership and strategic oversight on matters related to the student experience. She has broad leadership responsibility for numerous university operations affecting students outside the classroom, including the residential experience, dining services, the Ohio Union and student activities, student leadership and service, mental health support, career development, recreational sports, health care and wellness programs, disability services, the Center for Belonging and Social Change, off-campus and commuter student engagement, the student judicial process, student advocacy and crisis intervention.

Dr. Shivers came to Ohio State from the University of Iowa where she was the Vice President for Student Affairs. Prior to that, she spent seven years at the University of Tennessee, where she held various roles, including Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Life and Dean of Students. She also held positions at the University of Georgia, Clemson University and Georgia Southern University. Dr. Shivers has held faculty appointments at multiple institutions, including teaching a required Diversity in Higher Education course for students in Ohio State’s Higher Education and Student Affairs graduate program. She was also selected as a faculty member for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ Institute for Aspiring Vice Presidents for Student Affairs

She is a proud first-generation college graduate with a BS from Georgia Southern University in Communication Arts, a master's degree in Education, Counseling and Guidance Services from Clemson and a Doctor of Philosophy, Counseling and Student Personnel Services from the University of Georgia.

Dr. Shivers was honored as a 2022 Legend and Legacy by the King Arts Complex and was selected as a 2021 Diamond Honoree by ACPA, which is one of the highest honors bestowed by the international student affairs professional organization. Dr. Shivers is a member of the Georgia Southern University’s Alumni Association Board of Directors, the Melvin C. Terrell Educational Foundation Board of Directors, the King Arts Complex Board of Directors, the Campus Partners Board of Directors, a university representative on The Ohio State University Foundation Board of Directors and member of the Association of Public Land-grant Universities Council on Student Affairs and its nominating committee. She was also recently named as one of 40 higher education leaders to follow on social media.

Dr. Shivers loves to travel and is a college football fan. She is passionate about removing barriers to student and staff success, serving her community and contributing to the world in ways that help to ensure the health, safety and security of others.