Berry Announces New Administrators

Release Date: May 25, 2018

Berry College has named a new Chief of Staff as well as a new Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students.  

Beginning July 1, current Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Debbie Heida will move into the role of Chief of Staff. Assistant Vice President Lindsey Taylor will become Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students.  

Heida has worked at Berry since 2004 as Dean of Students and Chief Student Affairs Officer. She has served three other colleges as Chief Student Affairs Officer including Wittenberg University, St. Olaf College, and Wartburg College.   

“I am delighted to serve Berry in this new role.  I have a passion for this place and the way the experience of a Berry education changes lives.  I look forward to working more closely with Dr. Briggs and the Berry community,” she said.  

Heida served as the National Association of Student Personnel Administrator’s Small College and University Public Policy Coordinator, past Regional Director for Region III, and Small College and University Region III Coordinator.  She was appointed to the North-American Interfraternity Conference Presidential Commission on Sexual Assault and Abuse Prevention.   

She served two terms on the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice editorial board and co-chaired the NASPA Fraternity and Sorority Knowledge Community. She served on the Board of the Center for the Study of the College Fraternity from 2001-2011 (serving as President of the Board from 2005-2010), the Advisory Board for the National Hazing Study and has been an accreditation team member for the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges since 2010.   

Heida is active in her community in a variety of church leadership positions and currently serves as the vice chair of the Board of Directors for the Hospitality House, Rome’s domestic violence center.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Mount Union College and her master’s in student personnel work from The Ohio State University.  She lives in Rome with her husband, Steve, who is a teacher at Cedartown High School and has two daughters.  

Taylor has served in a number of positions since coming to Berry in 2005 including Coordinator for Residence Life, Director for Residence Life, and Assistant Dean of Students, Residence Life.  She has a master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Mississippi and a bachelor’s degree from Valdosta State University. She and her husband, Derek, have two sons.  

The current Chief of Staff, Gary Waters, will retire June 30. Waters has also served as Vice President for Enrollment Management and Associate Vice President for Advancement among other leadership roles spanning his career at Berry that began in 1984. He will continue to work on a limited basis with The Spires at Berry College as well as Berry’s Advancement Office. His community service includes his work on the board of Salvation Army and the South Rome Redevelopment Corporation.