Julie Payne-Kirchmeier

Julie Payne-Kirchmeier

Julie Payne-Kirchmeier

Vice President for Student Affairs
Instructor, Higher Education Administration and Policy



Dr. Julie Payne-Kirchmeier is Senior student affairs professional with over 20 years of progressively responsible and expansive leadership, supervisory, and budgetary experience across institutional types and functional areas. Julie has been asked to spearhead institution-wide new initiatives based on professional expertise in strategic planning and assessment, cross-functional collaboration, student development, and innovative problem-solving. She has a demonstrated history of creating and supervising high-performing teams that deliver results for the institution while also serving and advocating for students.

Julie currently serves as the Vice President for Student Affairs at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, in which she oversees the full Division of Student Affairs, including housing, dining, finance, human resources, counseling, conduct, health service, campus life, fraternity and sorority life, campus inclusion and community, career advancement, university center, technology, marketing, communications, assessment, and long-range planning. She earned her B.S. degree in Genetics and her M.Ed. degree in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education from Texas A&M University-College Station, and her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Administrations and Foundations at Indiana State University. 

Prior to joining Northwestern University, Julie has served in various student affairs leadership roles, including as the Assistant Provost for the University College at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) in which she supervised New Student and Family Programs, Learning Support Services, Career Services, and coordinated marketing and assessment for the University College.  Julie concurrently held the title of Director of University Housing during that time.  She has also held positions of Director of Residence Life at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, Indiana, Assistant Director of Housing at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, and hall director at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX.  

During her administrative tenure, Julie has been highly involved in many professional associations. She currently serves as Board Chair-elect for NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. She previously served as the NASPA Region IV-E Regional Director, currently serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice (JSARP), and is a past chair of the Certification Commission for NACAS. She has held leadership roles with GLACUHO and ACUHO-I as well, in which she has been awarded several honors for her work including the Parthenon Award from ACUHO-I, one of the international associations highest honors.

Julie serves as an instructor in the Northwestern University master’s program in higher education (MSHE), where she teaches college student development, and previously taught same at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She is a published author, and presents nationally and internationally on authentic leadership, organizational change and capacity, social media and student engagement, as well as on issues important to women in higher education. Her research interests include women’s leadership in higher education, and graduate preparation for Student Affairs and Higher Education.



Year Degree Institution
2009 PhD, Educational Leadership, Administration and Foundations Indiana State University
1996 MEd, Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education Texas A&M University
1994 BS, Genetics Texas A&M University

Research Interests

  • Student affairs