Graduate School

Croom named associate dean of the Graduate School


Dr. Natasha N. Croom has been named associate dean of the Graduate School. In this new role, she will be responsible for developing and expanding student services for the graduate population at Clemson. Her role will include:

  • supervising graduate admissions.
  • managing and expanding enrolled student services for graduate students, particularly for those off-campus, by working collaboratively with the office of the vice president of student affairs.
  • leading efforts to support students experiencing academic difficulties.
  • leading efforts to develop and enhance resources for graduate assistantships and fellowships.

Croom will transition to the Graduate School in August from her current position as associate professor of higher education and student affairs & special adviser to the dean for diversity and inclusive excellence in Clemson’s College of Education.

Drawing from her background as a scholar of higher education and student affairs and former program coordinator of one of the largest Ph.D.-granting programs on campus, Croom says she will “keep equity at the forefront to ensure that each of our graduate students has what they need not just to survive but to thrive in graduate education.” She adds that “we’ll ensure our practices are both theoretically and experientially informed, and we’ll collaborate with others on campus to share practices, resources and tools to promote graduate student success at Clemson.” Croom was a member of the 2020 cohort at Clemson’s President’s Leadership Institute.

“Dr. Croom has earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues at Clemson and in her discipline, as well as that of graduate students.  She has established an impressive portfolio of scholarship and an exemplary history of service,” said Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School John Lopes. “I am confident graduate students at Clemson will benefit a great deal from Dr. Croom’s commitment to their academic, professional, and personal development.”

Before coming to Clemson in 2016, Croom served as assistant professor of higher education and student affairs at Iowa State University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Texas A&M University-Kingsville, a master’s degree in higher education administration from Texas A&M University-College Station, and a Ph.D. in educational leadership—higher education from Iowa State University. She currently serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Diversity in Higher Education and Journal of College Student Development. Her research interests include intersectional identity development in college; access, equity, and success for womyn of color and other minoritized communities in post-secondary environments; and critical race theory, critical race feminism, and critical qualitative inquiry in higher education research and practice.

The incumbent associate dean, David S. Fleming, will return as a full-time professor to the College of Education later this summer after five highly productive years as an associate dean of the Graduate School and a stint as interim dean. See related article.