Winston Crisp steps down

Image of Winston Crisp sitting at a desk with a T.V. behind him.
Winston Crisp stepped into his position as student affairs vice president in 2019 and has overseen progress in diversity, equity and inclusion as well as mental health and well-being. (Andrea Diaz | Daily Trojan file photo)

Vice President for Student Affairs Winston Crisp resigned from his position for health-related reasons, Provost Charles Zukoski announced Wednesday in a communitywide email. 

Senior Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs Monique Allard has been serving as acting vice president for student affairs since Oct. 7, when Crisp took a leave of absence for personal health issues. Crisp came into the position in 2019 and replaced then-interim Vice President Allard, who stepped into the position following Ainsley Carry’s departure to assume the role of Vice President for Students at the University of British Columbia. 

Crisp brought 26 years of previous experience in student affairs at the University of North Carolina — where President Carol Folt previously served — to USC, where he oversaw progress in diversity, equity and inclusion as well as mental health and well-being. 

Over his two-year tenure, Crisp expanded spaces for the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs and the First Generation Plus Success Center and served as co-chair of the Provost’s Task Force on University Nomenclature, according to Zukoski’s email. The task force, created in 2019 by then-Provost Michael Quick, addressed concerns about building names, statues and monuments.

During his time at USC, Crisp helped carry out and communicate to the community about an overhaul of mental health resources on campus, including the hiring of 12 additional counselors at the University counseling center and the implementation of long-term services at the Engemann Student Health Center. 

Crisp also served as the liaison between students and administration, playing an active role in the advocacy of student interests, Zukoski wrote in the email.

“He was the voice of the student body while providing mentorship and leadership for many student organizations,” Zukoski wrote. “Mr. Crisp built relationships between housing, academic affairs, social groups, and parent groups.”

Over the pandemic, Crisp and his Student Affairs team created programs and digital communities to facilitate a remote college experience and led the return to campus in Fall 2021 with the largest Welcome Experience on record, according to the email. 

“He set up an emergency fund program,” Zukoski said in an interview with the Daily Trojan. “He set up all sorts of student participation activities that had to be done remotely. And then he and his team worked unbelievably hard to create the environment that enabled us to get started in the fall. That was truly a heavy lift and quite remarkable, what they accomplished.”