Cerri Banks

Vice President for Student Success and Deputy to the Senior Vice President for the Student Experience

Cerri BanksAppointed July 1, 2021, Cerri A. Banks, Ph.D., is the Vice President for Student Success and Deputy to the Senior Vice President for the Student Experience, overseeing high-impact programs and services that support student transition, retention and success. She also leads initiatives, projects and programs on behalf of the senior vice president.

Previously, she was the dean of students and vice president for student affairs at Skidmore College. In her role at Skidmore, Banks oversaw 134 employees and all offices in Student Affairs, including athletics, campus life and engagement, health and wellness, residential life, career development, student diversity programs, and student academic services. Banks also served as vice president for student affairs and dean of the college at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA, and as the Dean of William Smith College at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY.

Banks received a Ph.D. in cultural foundations of education and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in women’s studies, both from Syracuse University, and specializes in sociology of education, cultural studies, and qualitative research. Committed to educational reform and issues of inclusion, Banks draws from educational theory, feminist theory and critical race theory in her work as the vice president and in her teaching, research and writing.  Her book Black Women Undergraduates, Cultural Capital and College Success (Peter Lang, 2009) expands the theoretical concept of cultural capital and provides practical ways colleges and universities can recognize and utilize the cultural capital of all students. She is also the co-author of the edited text, Teaching, Learning and Intersecting Identities in Higher Education (Peter Lang, 2012).  This book utilizes voices of scholars and students from a range of academic disciplines to analyze the ways divergent identities and experiences infiltrate the classroom. Her newest project entitled, No Justice! No Peace! College Student Activism, Race Relations and Media Cultures (Peter Lang, 2021) looks at the implications of the changing tides of student activism for college campuses. Banks has produced scores of articles, book chapters and presentations on culturally relevancy, identity and learning, and other subjects.

Active in key higher education organizations over the course of her career, Banks has won a wide array of honors, awards and scholarships. A graduate of Monroe Community College before transferring to Syracuse University, she was inducted into Monroe’s Hall of Fame.