Shawn Newton, of Salem, has been named associate vice president and dean of students at Salem State University. He will assume the role on July 3, 2022. A Salem State alumnus, Newton brings 25 years of higher education experience in student affairs and diversity and inclusion, including prior leadership roles at Salem State.
“Shawn has devoted his 25-year career to student success, diversity and inclusion, and community engagement, which are three of our top priorities at Salem State,” said President John D. Keenan. “I am honored that Shawn will bring his talent, skills and passion back to our campus. I look forward to all that he will achieve as his longtime impact on students and the region grows even further through this leadership role.”
In recent years, Newton served as co-founder of Newton Consultancy Group, which provided over 1,000 clients with services that included diversity and inclusion workshops, conflict resolution, higher education consulting, and more. Prior to that, Newton held the role of associate dean of students at Suffolk University, where he oversaw day-to-day operations in the dean of students’ office and student affairs. For 20 years, he served Salem State with increasing responsibility in numerous student affairs roles, including assistant director of diversity and multicultural affairs and assistant dean of students.
Newton grew up in Roxbury, Massachusetts and relocated to Salem in 1991 to attend Salem State.
“I'm extremely humbled by the opportunity to serve as the next associate vice president and dean of students at Salem State University,” said Newton. “I'm most excited about our students and hope that I can contribute to their success both on and off campus. They are the hope of our future and the pillars of our society. I'm appreciative of the communities that have supported me in my life journey, including Barbados, where my family is from, Roxbury, where I grew up, Wayland, where I went to public school, and Salem, which I now call home. I'm looking forward to working with my colleagues in a partnership of excellence where we practice a student-centered and student-first approach through a lens that's inclusive of every student enrolled at SSU. I'm eager to start this work in July and look forward to being part of Salem State's bright future.”
“Throughout his higher education career, Shawn has proven to be a dynamic leader committed to building consensus, solving problems, connecting with students, and placing diversity and inclusion at the center of his efforts,” said Vice President for Student Success Nate Bryant. “Shawn is a proud and dedicated Salem State Viking with a breadth of experience both on and off campus. I have every confidence that he will be a driving force in our ongoing, campus-wide efforts to bring students the best experiences and opportunities possible.”
Newton has long been an active member of the Salem community. He serves on the boards of the Salem Chamber of Commerce and Plummer Youth Promise. In 2020, Newton became chair of the inaugural city of Salem Race Equity Task Force, which he led for over a year. Working with the city of Salem in 2004, Newton was a founding member and vice chairperson of the city’s No Place for Hate Committee. He is a frequent guest speaker and lecturer on topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Newton received his bachelor of science in criminal justice from Salem State and currently serves on the university’s alumni association. He holds a master of science in community and economic development from Southern New Hampshire University.