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SLU Names Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement

The Saint Louis University Division of Student Development announced on Friday, June 3, that Benjamin “Ben” Perlman, Ph.D., will soon join the University as the assistant vice president for student engagement.

Benjamin “Ben” Perlman, Ph.D. 

Perlman joins SLU from Emory University where he serves as director of student center operations and events. Since December 2021, he has also served as interim assistant vice president of Campus Life, the university’s student affairs division, leading the offices of Student Conduct; Health Promotion; Student Involvement, Leadership, and Transitions; and Civic and Community Engagement. He’s worked at Emory since 2005 and has served in his current role since 2012.

In his role as AVP of student engagement, Perlman will be responsible for strategic planning, operations management, and effective daily supervision of all organizational components of the Busch Student Center, Housing and Residential Life, the Student Involvement Center, and related services on behalf of the Division of Student Development.

“The holistic student experience is extremely important to me, and Saint Louis University has all of the pieces in place to maximize that at a time where students need us the most,” Perlman said. “I knew I found my fit with SLU when I learned about how rooted the Jesuit mission is in every part of the student and staff experience.”

Perlman earned his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia where his research explored experiences of students in second-year student engagement programs and student success. Among his successes were developing Emory’s Sophomore Experience Program, working on the planning and construction of a $98.6 million new student center, and co-leading the Returning Students Program to reorient and engage students who were disconnected from the university during COVID-19.

“I cannot express how excited we are to have a national expert in the student experience and in retention work join us here at SLU,” said Sarah Cunningham, Ed.D., vice president for student development. “Alongside our teams and faculty colleagues, Ben is going to help us develop a residential curriculum that complements the CORE, ensure our student leaders are cultivated in a way that’s mission-driven and so much more. We can’t wait to see what work we will accomplish together.”

Perlman’s first day at SLU is Aug. 1. The Division of Student Development looks forward to welcoming the Perlman family, including Ben’s wife Meredith, daughters Daisy and Stella, and their two puppies, Bagel and Lox, to St. Louis this summer.

Learn More about the Student Development Division