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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Eddie Knowles Named Vice President for Student Life at Rensselaer

April 9, 2001

Eddie Knowles Named Vice President for Student Life at Rensselaer

Troy, N.Y. — Eddie Ade Knowles, who served Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as dean of students for 18 years, has been named vice president for student life after a nationwide search. Knowles, who has been involved in student life administration at Rensselaer since 1977, was named interim vice president for student life last February.

“Eddie Knowles is a highly regarded professional whose work at Rensselaer throughout his career has earned the respect of his colleagues in student life throughout the nation,” said Rensselaer President Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson in making the appointment.

“Rensselaer can be justly proud that a national search that included the participation of the full range of campus constituencies has concluded with the selection of Dr. Knowles, whose contributions have enriched the life of Rensselaer students over the last 24 years,” Jackson said.

Knowles joined the Rensselaer community as assistant dean of students in 1977. He became the Institute’s first director of minority student affairs in 1979 and was named dean of students in 1982.

A respected expert and an experienced leader in student life administration, Knowles earned a doctorate in public administration and policy from the University at Albany’s Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Lincoln University and a master’s degree in higher education from Columbia University.

In addition to his work as a student life administrator, Knowles, who is a widely acclaimed percussionist, serves as an adjunct associate professor of arts at Rensselaer, where he teaches Afro-Cuban drumming.

“The choice of Dr. Knowles was made after an exhaustive search that considered 48 candidates and finally agreed on three exceptionally qualified finalists,” said committee chairman Don Millard ‘91, director of Rensselaer’s Center of Integrated Electronics and Electronic Manufacturing.

“Eddie Knowles turned out to be the person most highly ranked by our committee for qualification, experience, and compatibility with the needs and culture of Rensselaer,” Millard said. “He is, without question, an outstanding choice. Few people can match his knowledge of the problems that face college campuses today or his ability to communicate with all members of the community. He had our highest vote of confidence.”

The committee sought candidates with no less than 10 years of progressive experience in student life administration, demonstrated ability to work effectively with students, comprehensive knowledge of higher education, and excellence in interpersonal communication.

“We expected visionary leadership, superior team-building skills, and an outstanding ability to enhance diversity and collaborate with multiple constituencies,” Millard said.

At Rensselaer, the vice president for student life reports directly to the president and is responsible for the management of Athletics, Archer Center for Student Leadership Development, Career Development Center, Chaplains Office, Dean of Students Office, Office of First Year Experience, Rensselaer Union, Residence Life, Student Health Services Center, and Student Records & Financial Services.

“Dr. Knowles is committed to being the chief advocate for student life at Rensselaer and will continue the outstanding work he has done for a quarter-century,” said search committee member and Grand Marshal Joseph Greco ’01. “He gained the strong support of the committee and has a firm grasp of the responsibilities of this position.”

A resident of Troy, Knowles has received wide recognition and honors for his work in education, community service, and the arts. He is a member of the board of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, the Center for Urban Youth in Technology at the University at Albany, the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity in New York, and the Edwin Gould Foundation for Children in New York.

Prior to his coming to the Capital Region, Knowles was an assistant professor and administrator in the City University of New York.

Contact: Bruce Adams
Phone: (518) 276-6531
E-mail: N/A