Office Hours with John Gardner graphic with John Gardner and Vicki McGillin

Episode 46- Advising for Success

Office Hours with John Gardner

Vicki McGillin draws on her experience in psychology and program development to create change in complex systems. In this episode, she shares her research on student persistence.

Guest Bio

Vicki is an Associate Vice President at the Gardner Institute, where she has served as an Advisor and Fellow since her retirement as Provost and Professor of Psychology at Otterbein University. She is the Process Coordinator for the Retention Performance Management process. She serves as an institutional Advisor and Fellow in both of these processes. She also serves as a Senior Advisor on the Gateways to Completion process. Prior to her retirement, Vicki led curricular, programmatic and business collaboration initiatives for the 52 member institutions of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio, where she helped found the Ohio Project Kaleidoscope (AAC&U) Regional organization, and the Ohio/Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia Higher Education Recruiting Consortium (HERC) as well as state-wide planning groups focusing on collaborative professional development and course sharing. Prior to her leadership role at Otterbein, Dr. McGillin served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at Linfield College (OR) and Associate Provost at Texas Woman’s University. 

Vicki began her academic career as an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut before moving to Clark University (MA) where she subsequently served as Associate Dean of the College. Stimulated by her first, First Year Experience Conference, she initiated a First Year Seminar program at Clark organized around student engagement with primary research. Subsequently, at Wheaton College (MA), Vicki served as Dean and Assistant Provost. The First Year Advising Teams she created received national recognition, both from NACADA and in the DEEP study of unusually strong student engagement completed by George Kuh and associates. She has consulted with over thirty colleges and universities on advising, resilience, curriculum and faculty development and has served on over a half-dozen higher education boards or executive committees, including multiple positions on the NACADA Board of Directors.

 As an academic leader, Vicki focused on the career-span professional development of academics, student academic resilience, strategic planning and budgeting, authentic learning outcomes assessment, the redesign of teaching/learning spaces and on evidence-based curricular reform.  She has published or presented over 100 papers on these topics. She has consulted/advised national and regional organizations on leadership development and the development of academic and business collaborations/consortia including the Project Kaleidoscope (AAC&U) STEM Senior Leadership Institute, the New England Resource Center for Higher Education, the NACADA Summer Institute and Assessment Institute, and the Council of Independent Colleges Chairs Institute. Vicki earned her B.S. and M.S. in Psychology from Pennsylvania State University and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Michigan State University. 

To contact Vicki, please email her at  

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