Biography and CV
for Dr. Robin Holmes-Sullivan
Dr. Robin Holmes-Sullivan is Lewis & Clark’s 26th president, and the first female and person of color to serve in this role in the institution’s 155-year history. She will take the helm in July 2022, after three years serving as L&C’s vice president for student life and dean of students. Holmes-Sullivan has been credited for her pivotal role during the COVID-19 pandemic of devising creative approaches that helped keep students safe and progressing toward their degrees. Her leadership in campus engagement efforts to enhance the student experience at L&C has resulted in a $17 million capital project commitment to renovate and expand Templeton Campus Center, and secured funding to support the First-Year Experience effort to strengthen and enhance that critical entry into college. Holmes-Sullivan also played a key role in the development of the new Center for Social Change and Community Involvement, and completed a student life division-wide five-year strategic plan, among many other accomplishments.
Holmes-Sullivan came to Lewis & Clark in 2019 from the University of California, where she served as vice president for student affairs overseeing the undergraduate admissions process and other student-related issues for the 10-campus, 200,000-student system. While at the University of California, Holmes-Sullivan co-led an effort to improve student affordability, helped develop a coherent sexual assault policy for all UC campuses, assisted in crafting a new policy to streamline transfers to the university from the state’s community colleges, and played a lead role in crafting new policy around free speech and demonstrations.
Prior to her time at the University of California, Holmes-Sullivan spent 27 years at the University of Oregon, working her way up from a position as a clinical coordinator in the counseling center to vice president of student life. Holmes-Sullivan served nine years in the latter role, leading a division that addressed student needs and concerns from pre-enrollment through graduation. Some of Holmes-Sullivan’s accomplishments in the VPSL role at the UO include raising money to renovate and construct the new ERB Memorial Union and the new Recreation Center, playing a key role in raising philanthropic dollars for various health and wellness initiatives, and developing a strategic plan to renovate and improve campus housing and residence life.
For more than 20 years, Holmes-Sullivan has maintained a clinical psychology practice, and consults on issues of diversity and multicultural organizational development for higher education institutions and private corporations. She has taught classes and workshops on multiculturalism and cross-cultural dynamics in conflict mediation as well as identity formation and development.
Holmes-Sullivan earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University at Fullerton in 1986. She received a master’s degree in experimental psychology from California State University at Fullerton in 1990, and a second master’s in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology that same year. She earned her PhD in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology two years later in 1992.
Holmes-Sullivan and her wife, Kathy, have two grown sons, a daughter-in-law, and a grandson.