Portrait of Kelly Wesener Michael

Kelly Wesener Michael

Practitioner-Scholar in Residence, Northern Illinois University

Until joining the Northern Illinois University’s Higher Education and Student Affairs program faculty in summer 2020, Kelly was the chief student affairs officer at Northern Illinois University. She began her career as a housing professional and stepped into senior level administration at Northern Illinois University in 2009 as the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs. Over the years as a senior administrator, her portfolio has included a wide variety of student services and auxiliaries.

Kelly was promoted into the chief student affairs officer role at NIU in January 2017. In that role, she provided visionary leadership as NIU undertook an organizational restructuring of the Division of Student Affairs, as well as of other large-scale initiatives, including: a multi-million dollar renovation of the student union, establishing a relevant and progressive vision for Fraternity and Sorority Life, re-visioning campus community standards, and developing robust auxiliary operations. These included implementation of a campus dining strategy, e-sports facilities and housing master plan, meeting the increasing need for student support services implementing the “one stop shop” model, and understanding the role of advocacy within a social justice framework. She, along with the Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer, led the Student Experience Team, which strives to provide comprehensive services and engagement opportunities that support to student success.

Kelly consistently participated in professional organizations on the national level, most recently serving on the Executive Team for the APLU’s Council on Student Affairs.

Kelly’s academic credentials include: a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Indiana University, a Masters of Science in College Student Personnel from Western Illinois University, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.