Martino Harmon named U-M vice president for student life


Martino Harmon, a longtime advocate for student success, has been appointed vice president for student life at the University of Michigan. The Board of Regents approved his five-year appointment at its March 26 meeting, which was conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Headshot of Martino Harmon
Martino Harmon

Harmon currently serves as the senior vice president for student affairs at Iowa State University.

Harmon will begin July 1 and will fill the vacancy created by the retirement in January of longtime Vice President for Student Life E. Royster Harper. Simone Himbeault Taylor is serving as interim vice president and will continue to serve until then.

“Dr. Harmon has extensive experience as a successful and collaborative university leader,” President Mark Schlissel said. “His skills and deep understanding of student life will ensure that the University of Michigan continues to be a national model in this area.”

Harmon will serve as an executive officer of the university and provide universitywide leadership and strategic direction for Student Life. He will oversee the many offices and service functions that support students’ education, needs and aspirations beyond the classroom, ranging from the Trotter Multicultural Center and University Housing to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and the University Health Service.

“The University of Michigan is the nation’s top public institution and I am honored to have been selected by the Board of Regents to lead the division of student life,” Harmon said. “I look forward to getting to know and collaborate with the talented and knowledgeable staff and faculty to continue to enhance the U-M student experience.”

“Supporting the holistic success of students so they may flourish within the classroom and community will be my priority,” he said. “I will miss my friends, colleagues and the students at Iowa State University and hold dear many great memories from the past seven years.”

At Iowa State University, Harmon began serving in the top student life role in 2016 and is a member of the president’s cabinet and senior leadership team. He provides strategic oversight for the student affairs division with a budget of more than $300 million, 800 staff members and 36 departments.

Before he was promoted to the top role he served as the associate vice president, leading key departments including admissions, financial aid, learning communities and student support services. 

Prior to joining Iowa State University, Harmon was the executive director of student success and retention at Cincinnati State Community College, dean of student development at Rhodes State College and dean of admission, retention and student life at Washtenaw Community College.

Harmon began his career in student life at the University of Toledo, serving in increasingly responsible roles over a span of 11 years, including interim assistant dean of students, director of the African-American student enrichment office, director of freshman admission, associate director of admissions and multicultural recruitment, and coordinator of campus visits and admission counselor.

He also fills leadership positions for several professional organizations including the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities and was a faculty member at the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ institute for aspiring vice presidents for student affairs in 2019.

Harmon earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing management, a Master of Education degree in human resource development and educational technology, and a Ph.D. in higher education and administration, all from the University of Toledo.


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