Simone Himbeault Taylor has been appointed interim vice president for student life at the University of Michigan.

Her appointment, approved Dec. 5 by the Board of Regents, is effective Jan. 18, 2020, and runs until a permanent vice president is installed.

Headshot of Simone Taylor
Simone Himbeault

Taylor currently serves as the senior associate vice president for student life. She succeeds Royster Harper, vice president for student life, who announced her retirement earlier this year.

“Dr. Taylor’s valuable experience in Student Life, her commitment to the success of our students, and her understanding of the breadth of responsibility of Student Life make her the right person to lead the division as interim vice president during this transition,” said President Mark Schlissel.

As interim vice president, Taylor will assume all duties and responsibilities of the role, including oversight of the Office of the Vice President for Student Life and all the units that report to that office. 

“I value providing leadership to this intentionally designed, student-centered organization that has been led with such inspiration over the past 20 years by Vice President Harper,” Taylor said. “It is an honor to advance our mission and prepare well for our next vice president.”

Taylor joined U-M in 1977 and has more than 40 years of experience in higher education. As senior associate vice president for student life, she focuses on the strategic direction of Student Life and issues of institutional significance. 

Her administrative experience spans a range of responsibilities, from policy formation to incident management, and she guides Student Life’s institutional impact on student learning and development.

Her primary contributions include many efforts to advance student learning and development, including academic partnerships, co-curricular learning opportunities, research and assessment, integrative learning and portfolio pedagogy and leadership education.

As a scholar-practitioner, Taylor also is an adjunct associate professor in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the School of Education.

She is a national contributor to the field through her professional and scholarly contributions on a broad array of topics.

She has been recognized for her scholarship, teaching and commitment to inclusive excellence, including awards from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators for Dissertation of the Year and Outstanding Contribution to Student Affairs through Teaching, and from the university’s first-granted group of Distinguished Diversity Leaders Award recipients.

A three-time graduate of U-M, Taylor earned her Bachelor of Arts in botany in 1977, a Master of Arts in counseling in 1982 and a Ph.D. in higher education in 1994.