Title: Associate Vice Provost for Student Success and Advising, University of Central Florida
With more than 25 years of experience in higher education, Priest was recently named the associate vice provost of student success and advising within the Division of Student Learning and Academic Success at the University of Central Florida (UCF). Prior to this appointment, Priest served as the associate vice president of student success within the Division of Student Development and Enrollment Services. In that role, Priest supervised more than 140 staff and 200 students and provided oversight for numerous departments, including advising, transition services, veteran’s services, accessibility services, career services, first year experience, registrar’s office and learning support services. In addition, Priest was the principal investigator of eight Department of Education TRIO grants totaling over $8 million that provide opportunities and resources for low-income and first-generation students. Priest is an unwavering champion for student success, retention and completion. During her tenure, UCF’s retention and four-year graduation rates have reached an all-time high, at 91.5% and 46.4% respectively. UCF graduates the third highest number of minorities in the nation, and one in four students is the first in their family to attend college. Priest’s areas of interest include student persistence, academic advising, leadership development, mentoring, continuous quality improvement, program development and diversity and inclusion. Under her leadership, UCF has received several national awards. Priest is a member of the UCF President’s Advisory Staff Council and the Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange at the University of Oklahoma’s Advisory Board, she is executive member of the ACE Women’s Network of Florida, and liaison and UCF program owner for the Education Advisory Board (EAB) analytics platform. Priest earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration and master’s degree in counselor education from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. She received her doctorate in organizational leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.