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Derrick Tillman-Kelly, Ph.D.

Co-Principal Investigator and Research Lead
Chief of Staff, College of Engineering

The Ohio State University
Derrick Tillman-Kelly

Dr. Derrick L. Tillman-Kelly is chief of staff in the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University. In this role, he serves as principal advisory to Dean Ayanna Howard. An experienced higher education researcher, administrator, and project manager, he most recently served as director of the Fellows Program and Network Engagement for the University Innovation Alliance (UIA). In this role, he worked with member universities to support institutional transformation with the goal of eliminating race/ethnicity, first-generation status, and socioeconomic status as predictors of student success and completion.

Prior to being named director of the UIA Fellows Program, he served in multiple roles at The Ohio State University, including as the inaugural UIA Fellow and special assistant to the director of the Center for Higher Education Enterprise. He also has experience in a variety of functional areas including financial aid, fraternity and sorority life, and first-year programs, to name a few. He has a specific interest in the socialization of higher education leaders as well as factors and experiences that influence the success of minoritized student groups in college and STEM.

He earned his PhD in educational policy and leadership with a specialization in higher education and student affairs from Ohio State. He also earned a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree from Illinois Wesleyan University.