Student center

Acting Director appointed at UK Gatton Student Center

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Jim Wims, a student leader and mentor at the University of Kentucky, has been named acting director of the UK Gatton Student Center.

Wims took up his new post this month, succeeding John H. Herbst who retired after more than 40 years of service in the UK.

“Jim Wims demonstrated a deep and committed passion for student support and success throughout his years at the University of Kentucky,” said Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration Eric N. Monday. “He is dedicated to making this campus the absolute best environment for our community, and the Gatton Student Center is at the heart of that vision.”

Most recently, Wims served as Senior Deputy Provost in the Office of Student and University Life in the UK, a position he has held since 2016. In this role, he has worked with the university and beyond to create a supportive and nurturing environment that provides opportunities for student learning, engagement, and achievement.

Prior to that, Wims held a variety of key leadership positions in the UK, including Director of Residence Life, Acting Director of Food Services, Assistant Vice President and Associate Student Affairs and Acting Dean of Students.

Throughout his career, he has been recognized for his primary focus of serving students. Its philosophy includes a pay-as-you-go attitude coupled with the notion that students always come first.

Wims subscribes to the idea that students should be challenged and supported. To that end, he has engaged students in formal and informal settings by teaching first-year orientation and experiential courses, advising student organizations, and mentoring students throughout his career. In addition, he is a strong believer in giving back to the university through service, e.g., the President’s Commission on Diversity, the Working Life Task Force, the University Sustainability Committee, the university security, the university start-up committee, the employee benefits committee. , the Food Services Advisory Committee and Co-Chair of the Vice President for Student Affairs Research.

Prior to his time in the UK, Wims held student affairs leadership positions at Kent State University and Lincoln University of Missouri.

“I look forward to working collaboratively with the Gatton Student Center team, our students, faculty and staff, to build on past traditions of excellence,” said Wims. “I strongly believe that the potential to positively impact student achievement is limitless.”