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Biography

Kim S. Phipps, Ph.D., was named the eighth president of Messiah College in December 2004. During her combined tenure as Messiah’s academic dean and provost (July 1998 – June 2004), Phipps accomplished many achievements, which have included:
  • leading a successful restructuring of the College, including the recruitment and appointment of five school deans
  • serving as co-leader of the task force to redesign the College’s governance structure
  • designing and implementing important initiatives to support faculty scholarship, including a faculty workload reallocation program
  • giving significant leadership to the educational program review, which has resulted in a first-year core curriculum and cocurriculum that is holistic, student-centered and focused on the College’s mission and identity
  • co-authoring a $2 million grant from The Lilly Endowment, and serving as initial project director for that award, which has enabled students and colleagues to pursue programming related to understanding and discovering Christian vocation
  • and providing co-leadership to the Micah Project, which seeks to address campus climate issues related to diversity. Key accomplishments of this initiative to date include: the design and implementation of a policy and protocol regarding racial harassment and ongoing anti-racism education for College educators.
Phipps has researched and authored numerous publications related to the structure, rhetoric, and climate of higher education; the development of educational community; faculty development and identity; gender and diversity communication issues; and the complexities and nuances of religion and American political campaign rhetoric. Most recently, Phipps authored the epilogue on campus climate and Christian scholarship for the book Scholarship and Christian Faith: Enlarging the Conversation by Messiah professors Douglas and Rhonda Jacobsen, published in March 2004 by Oxford Press. In the fall of 2004, Phipps delivered a Presidential Scholar Lecture on the topic of developing hospitable campus climates and also spoke on this subject at the “Faith in the Academy” national conference, held at Messiah in September 2004, and addressed this subject at a conference for college presidents and provosts at Pepperdine University in April.

Phipps holds a Ph.D. in communication studies from Kent State University. Before coming to Messiah, she served in a variety of leadership roles at Malone College in Canton, Ohio, including professor and chair of the department of communication arts, acting dean of the college, and associate dean for faculty development. She is a native of Long Island, N.Y., and lives on campus with her husband, D. Kelly Phipps, J.D., an attorney and the senior vice president for development at WITF, Inc., Harrisburg’s PBS affiliate, and their daughter, Brooke, an eighth-grader at Mechanicsburg Middle School.

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