NASHVILLE – The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) announced today that Dr. Russ Wigginton, formerly vice president at Rhodes College in Memphis, has been named the organization’s first chief postsecondary impact officer.
In his new role, Wigginton will support SCORE’s expansion into postsecondary education research, policy, and advocacy. He will lead SCORE’s efforts to build and maintain relationships with leaders at postsecondary institutions, governing agencies, and organizations while seeking opportunities and identifying gaps in advocacy, policy, and practice for postsecondary work at SCORE. Wigginton also will collaborate with SCORE’s Chief K-12 Impact Officer Dr. Sharon Roberts on work at the intersection of K-12 and postsecondary education.
“We welcome Russ to our team as SCORE pursues its new mission of ensuring every student is ready for college, career, and life,” SCORE President and CEO David Mansouri said. “Russ will be driving our postsecondary work, and his deep expertise, experience, and credibility position him to activate key relationships in the field and serve as a thought leader in how Tennessee can best support students in postsecondary education so they earn the degrees and credentials essential to a rewarding career.”
During his 23-year career at Rhodes College, Wigginton served most recently as vice president of student life and dean of students. His higher education experience includes roles at Rhodes as a professor, chair of the Department of Urban Studies and the African American Studies Program Committee, special assistant to the president, vice president for college relations, and vice president for external programs.
He worked across the spectrum on improving the college experience for students as well as the college’s internal and external relationship-building, strategic planning, and community engagement. His responsibilities encompassed academic support, career services, multicultural affairs, grants and foundations, government relations, and communications.
“I am excited by the prospect to build on my postsecondary experience and continue working as an advocate for students,” Wigginton said. “SCORE intends to drive the change that is needed to align K-12 education and higher education to support all students in earning the industry credentials and postsecondary degrees that prepare them to join the workforce and be engaged citizens, and I look forward to supporting this important mission. The future prosperity of Tennessee depends on achieving these goals.”
Wigginton earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from Rhodes and a doctorate in history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He taught history for eight years at Rhodes before moving into administrative roles. He has been active in the Memphis community, serving on civic boards that include the National Civil Rights Museum, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Facing History and Ourselves, ArtsMemphis, and KIPP Schools.
The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) believes all Tennessee students deserve success in college, career, and life. SCORE supports a unified and coordinated approach to education – from kindergarten through postsecondary – focused on helping all students complete high school and postsecondary education, earning the diplomas and credentials needed for a rewarding career. An independent, nonprofit, and nonpartisan advocacy and research institution, SCORE was founded in 2009 by Senator Bill Frist, M.D., former U.S. Senate Majority Leader. SCORE measures success by the academic growth and achievement of Tennessee’s students. Learn more at tnscore.org.