Kelly Collins Woodford will be the next dean of the College of Business and Professional Studies at Mississippi University for Women beginning Aug. 1.

“I am pleased to welcome Kelly Collins Woodford as the newest dean of the College of Business and Professional Studies at The W. She brings to the position an outstanding track record and an innovative vision for providing opportunities to students. I look forward to the continued elevation of our programs under her leadership and in collaboration with an outstanding faculty,” said Dr. Scott Tollison, provost and executive vice president of academic affairs.

For nearly three decades, Woodford has worked in higher education. Most recently, she served as the assistant dean for student affairs at Emory University School of Law. During that time, Woodford oversaw academic advising, the registrar, student organizations, student life, wellness and bar preparation while overseeing the operating budget.

Woodford said, “I am thrilled to join the College of Business and Professional Studies. With the region’s focus on economic development and attracting new industry, it is an exciting time to join The W. I look forward to getting to know employers in the Golden Triangle and across the state of Mississippi to establish partnerships and learn their needs. Working with the dedicated faculty and staff to continue the great work of Dean Marty Brock, we will look for opportunities to align our programs with what our constituents want and need to maximize career opportunities for our students.”

From June 2017 to August 2023, Woodford was the associate dean at the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell College of Business. She was responsible for the overall management of the undergraduate degree programs, including curriculum management, assurance of learning, student success and retention, experiential learning and other student-focused initiatives. Additionally, Woodford supervised professional staff relating to academic records, marketing and accreditation. She also held various positions at the University of South Alabama, including interim chair of the Department of Accounting, professor of management and professor emeritus.

“The college has an incredible portfolio of unique programs and many opportunities to expand interdisciplinary programs through its innovative curriculum. I am committed to leading the College of Business and Professional Studies to the next level of excellence and am humbled at the opportunity to become a part of The W’s rich history and proud traditions,” added Woodford.

In addition to her higher education responsibilities and duties, Woodford operated Kelly Collins Woodford LLC where she provided day-to-day employment law and human resources advice to clients in a variety of industries. For more than a decade, she served at multiple law firms as special counsel, partner and associate in the Washington, D.C. and Mobile, Alabama, areas.

Woodford is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Alabama Bar. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center (1992) and Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science with a minor in Business Administration from Spring Hill College (1989).

Former dean of the College of Business and Professional Studies, Brock, has been appointed associate vice president for academic affairs and will have responsibility for the Kossen Center for Teaching and Learning and the direction of the Office of Graduate Studies. In addition, she will assume the role of SACSCOC accreditation liaison at the conclusion of The W’s current reaffirmation.

About The W

Located in historic Columbus, Mississippi, The W was founded in 1884 as the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Today, the university is home to 2,227 students in more than 70 majors and concentrations and has educated men for 40 years. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity and social mobility which empowers students to BE BOLD.

Be Bold. Tower with Blue.