Campus News

Karen C. Goff Appointed Vice President and Dean of Students

August 4, 2021

Communications Staff

Karen C. Goff
Photo credit: Daniel Fowler

Dear Oberlin Community,

I am pleased to announce that after a thorough national search, and approval by the Oberlin College Board of Trustees Executive Committee, Oberlin has appointed Karen C. Goff to the role of vice president and dean of students.

Karen has an unwavering commitment to student development, a firm vision for co-curricular programming, a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and the strategic leadership to manage Student Life, a division critical to Oberlin’s future. Oberlin is fortunate to have her thoughtful, student-focused guidance in support of our position as a leader in higher education. 

Karen comes to us from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, where she has been a transformative leader as vice president for student affairs and dean of students for the past five years. She is a data-driven strategist who has developed and implemented elite quality programs and services to enhance student engagement. 

Karen has spent approximately 20 years in higher education, mainly as a student affairs educator and practitioner, and is poised to lead Oberlin into its next era. She has experience in crisis management, planning, diversity, equity and inclusion, strategic planning, and student affairs. 

Prior to arriving at Agnes Scott, she worked for 12 years at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, New Jersey, where she was instrumental in shaping the student experience. The last eight years of her career at Georgian Court, she was dean of students and associate provost for student life. Karen has also taught as an adjunct professor at other institutions of higher learning.

As Karen wrote to me in an email, “I am delighted to be joining you, your leadership team, and the entire Oberlin community. The dedication and commitment of everyone to the student experience were evident throughout my interview process. I look forward to partnering with multiple stakeholders to create a sense of belonging for all Obies and to engage students in a dynamic and robust co-curricular living and learning experience.” 

Karen has degrees in psychology and divinity, and has completed her doctoral course work in higher education administration at Northeastern University. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Georgian Court University and a master of divinity degree from Nyack College/Alliance Theological Seminary.

I am grateful to Dean David Kamitsuka for overseeing this search, and to the other members of the search committee for their leadership and guidance. 

Karen’s first day at Oberlin will be September 20. Please join me in giving her a warm Oberlin welcome when she arrives.

Sincerely, 

Carmen Twillie Ambar
President

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Exterior of Cox Administration Building