Skip to Content

Welcome Todd Adams, DU's new vice chancellor for student affairs

Back to News Listing


Jeremy Haefner

News  •

Dear DU community members,

I’m very pleased to welcome Todd Adams to the DU community as our new vice chancellor for student affairs. 

Todd comes to DU from Northwestern University, where he has served as associate vice president and dean of students since 2013. Prior to that Todd was at Duke University where he held numerous leadership roles in student affairs. He is a highly respected and collaborative leader. He has built successful student-centered operations at two of the finest institutions in the country, and his vision and compassion for students is widely recognized and respected across the student affairs field. 

I am certain that Todd’s record of success and his empathetic nature will help evolve our culture to become ever more inclusive and equitable, while improving the DU experience for our undergraduate and graduate students.

In his current role at Northwestern, Todd has overseen areas that provide resources, services and support significant to the student experience, including the first-year experience, new student and family programs, career advancement, off-campus life, student assistance and support services, and student conduct. He has been responsible for crisis response and emergency preparedness across the Division of Student Affairs, and collaborated frequently with academic, auxiliary, and other institutional and community partners to serve students. He provided leadership in the crafting and implementation of a university-wide sexual misconduct policy and assisted in the launch of Northwestern’s Office of Equity. He transitioned student disability services to AccessibleNU, with staff dedicated to assistive technology and promoting concepts of universal design for learning, and increased funding to support undergraduate, graduate and professional students who experience health-related and other emergency needs.

Todd served on Northwestern’s behavioral consultation team and the undergraduate council in the provost’s office, and he taught in the Master of Science in Higher Education program at Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy. He is a longtime member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, where he has served as the national co-chair of the Fraternity and Sorority Knowledge Community. He also assisted in creating the Highly Selective Institution Network for the National Orientation Directors Association and served as its inaugural co-chair. 

Karlton Creech, co-chair of the search committee and vice chancellor for athletics, recreation and Ritchie Center Operations, says, “Todd’s experience at two of the world’s best institutions of higher learning has prepared him to serve our students and the entire DU community at such an important time in our history. His proven dedication to student success, paired with his experience and ability as a seasoned university leader, will serve him well here.”

In addition to his administrative roles, at Duke University Todd also taught in the Program in Education and was honored with the Excellence in Advising award by Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and holds a doctorate from the Peabody School at Vanderbilt University.

Niki Latino, interim vice chancellor for student affairs, who also served as co-chair of the search committee said, “Todd is a dedicated, collaborative leader who has a vast array of experience in student affairs advocating for student needs, fostering a team-approach environment, and addressing complex situations from an instructive and empathetic lens.”

As the search committee advanced Todd’s candidacy, he met virtually with many constituent groups and stakeholders, including students, deans, trustees, vice chancellors, representatives of the Faculty of Color and Staff of Color groups, members of the Queer Faculty Association and Queer University Employees, and staff from the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. He also met with representatives of the Student Affairs Collective, who provide academic and student services, and are keenly interested individuals representing athletics, admission, Sodexo, and campus safety, among others. On campus, Todd met with key leaders from our recently renamed division of Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence (formerly Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence). 

About the opportunity to shape and lead DU’s student affairs operation Todd says, “I am honored and humbled to be the next vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Denver. I am impressed with the powerful vision of Impact 2025 and the holistic framework of the 4-D experience. I look forward to working with Chancellor Haefner and Niki Latino, Michael LaFarr, Mo Lotif, all of my colleagues in the division, and the entire DU community to support a caring, inclusive and vibrant community where students can thrive. My thanks to Chancellor Haefner and the search committee for their trust in me, and to the many colleagues in student affairs who I will join in this important work.”

Todd will join DU on September 7. He brings to Denver a love of sports and the outdoors and looks forward to being nearer to his family who reside in Colorado and Nebraska.

I want to thank Niki Latino and Michael LaFarr, who have served respectively, as interim vice chancellor and interim associate vice chancellor of student affairs and inclusive excellence, since May. Along with Kent Lebsack, assistant vice chancellor for budget and operations, they have taken on critical additional responsibilities while we finalized the search, and will continue to lead the division until Todd arrives in September.

Finally, I extend my deep appreciation to the following individuals, who, as our search committee, worked so thoughtfully and ably:

Karlton Creechco-chair, vice chancellor of athletics and recreation
Niki Latinoco-chair, interim vice chancellor for student affairs 
Alejandro Cerón, associate professor of anthropology, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Sophia Gonzalez-Mayagoitia, undergraduate student
Jennifer Karas, vice provost for academic affairs
Michael LaFarr, executive director, Health and Counseling Center
Danny McIntosh, dean, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Rode Molla, graduate student
Linda Olson, director, Pioneer Leadership Program
Heidi Perman, assistant vice chancellor for career and professional development
Douglas Scrivner, trustee
Hope Wisneski, associate dean of operations and chief of staff, Graduate School of Social Work

Please join me in congratulating Todd and welcoming him to DU in September. 


Jeremy Haefner