Cerri Banks

Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs
Skidmore College

Dr. Cerri Banks is the dean of students and vice president for student affairs at Skidmore College since August 1, 2016.  Previously, she served as vice president for student affairs and dean of the college at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts and as the dean of William Smith College at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva NY.  In her role at Skidmore Banks is responsible for the academic and social progress of students. She oversees 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 received her 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, multicultural education, 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 dean 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” 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.