Cross-College Advising Service announces director

October 15, 2019

Kelley Harris, an experienced scientist, teacher, advisor and administrator on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus, has been named as the new director of the Cross-College Advising Service (CCAS). Wren Singer, associate vice provost and director of undergraduate advising and career services, recently announced that Harris assumed leadership of UW–Madison’s largest centralized academic planning and decision-making resource for students who are exploring, undecided, and in transition.

Photo: Portrait of Kelley Harris

“I am elated to join the CCAS team,” says Kelley Harris, the new director of the Cross-College Advising Service. Photo: Amandalynn Jones Photography

Harris earned a PhD in genetics from UW–Madison and a BS in biology from Xavier University of Louisiana. She started her new position as director effective Sept. 1, replacing Interim Director Diana Maki and Director Tim Walsh, who retired last October after serving as director of CCAS for 18 years.

Before joining CCAS, Harris previously served as an assistant dean in the College of Letters & Science, and prior to that was the biology major program manager for four years.

“Kelley’s extensive experience in research, teaching and advising, and also her leadership in biochemistry, the biology major, and the College of Letters & Science Academic Deans’ Services prepares her exceptionally well for this critical campus role,” says Singer.

With the expansion of the CCAS team and additional expertise in assessment, unique perspectives, and collective skills, the advising office is focused on using data in new ways to drive the development of student services for students of all identities. “We strive to create welcoming and inclusive spaces to help students of all identities feel supported and valued during their time at UW–Madison,” says CCAS Communication Director Gayle Viney-Goers. “The team is excited for Kelley’s leadership and for her to bring a keen eye for data and metrics to our large population of exploring and undecided students.”

By promoting strategic exploration and developing partnerships with colleagues across campus, CCAS helps students seek meaningful learning experiences, identify future aspirations, make informed decisions about their major, all while staying on track for a timely graduation. CCAS is also celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

“I am elated to join the CCAS team,” says Harris. “CCAS has a strong and rich legacy of providing high-quality advising support and programming to exploring students. I am thrilled to continue this legacy and to lead the innovation of new services that align with the changing landscape of higher education and the evolving needs of students.”