Kenyon R. Bonner joined the University of Virginia as Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer on Jan. 16, 2024. He previously served as Vice Provost for Student Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, where he had served since 2004 in various, progressively responsible student support roles. During his 20-year career at Pitt, he gained experience as an Associate Director of Residence Life, Associate Dean of Students, and Director of Student Life. In 2015 he was promoted to Vice Provost and Dean of Students.
At UVA, Bonner leads approximately 300 student affairs professionals supporting undergraduate as well as graduate and professional students through all aspects of the student experience, from enrollment to graduation. Reporting to the President and to the Provost, he oversees a diverse portfolio, including Student Health and Wellness, Housing & Residence Life, the UVA Career Center, the Office of African-American Affairs, Policy, Accountability & Critical Events, and areas reporting to the Dean of Students: Orientation & New Student Programs, Student Engagement & Event Management, Multicultural Student Services, Hoos First, Fraternity and Sorority Life, administration of the Rotunda, and Student Center Facility Operations.
He and his staff also support student self-governance, partnering with student leaders involved in the Honor Committee, the University Judiciary Committee, Student Council, class and school councils, and hundreds of other student-led organizations. In another important area of collaboration, he and his team, work with faculty and staff in the University’s 12 schools and with academic partners across the UVA Grounds.
Bonner began his own college journey at Washington and Jefferson College where he played basketball and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and philosophy. He went on to receive his master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling at Kent State University and his doctorate in higher education management at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include black male student success, retention and graduation, college student mental health; and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
In 2013, he was honored with the University of Pittsburgh’s Chancellor’s Award for Staff Excellence in Service to the University. Washington and Jefferson College recognized him with the Waltersdorf Award for Innovation Leadership in 2017.
Bonner and his wife, Sylvana, have four children: Ijhad, Grant, Jasmine, and Chase. He enjoys spending time with his family, attending his children’s college basketball games, listening to music, watching movies, and walking.