Dr. Vaughn Vandegrift was appointed the seventh chancellor of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on July 1, 2004. During his tenure as chancellor, Dr. Vandegrift was instrumental in guiding the University toward fulfillment of its vision to be recognized nationally as a premier Metropolitan University for the excellence of its programs and development of professional and community leaders. He instituted a plan for achievement of the vision by the year 2015 that incorporated the values and long-term strategic goals of the University.
Vaughn Vandegrift elevated the visibility of the University through national recognition, moved to NCAA Division I, and facilitated numerous construction and inrastructure project that paved the way for future at SIUE.
In fall 2011, SIUE reached the largest overall enrollment in the history of the school at 14,235.
Under his leadership, SIUE was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of 46 up-and-coming universities in the United States. SIUE was also recognized seven times by the American Association of Colleges and Universities and U.S. News for its Senior Assignment program, a culminating experience required of all graduating seniors. During Vandegrift’s role as a chancellor, SIUE was also ranked by U.S. News for seven consecutive years as one of the top 20 public master's universities in the Midwest, and by the Daily Beast, an online news magazine, as the 21st safest campus in the nation with enrollment over 6,000 students. In addition, SIUE was also listed by Washington Monthly magazine among the top 50 master's granting institutions in the nation for a commitment to the public good in the areas of Social Mobility, Research and Service. In Fall 2011, SIUE attained a record enrollment of over 14,000 students and had completed $140 million of a planned $300 million construction and infrastructure program. The University also reclassified to NCAA Division I athletics as a member of the Ohio Valley Conference.
Dr. Vandegrift held several memberships while he was chancellor. He served as a member and past president of Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois. In addition, he was a member of St. Louis Civic Progress and the Boards of Directors of Innovate St. Louis; St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association; United Way of Greater St. Louis; the Southern Illinois Collegiate Common Market; and University Park, SIUE. The author of numerous articles and publications in protein/nucleic acid biochemistry, Dr. Vandegrift was also a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was elected into the honor societies of Omicron Delta Kappa, Sigma Xi, Beta Gamma Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi.
Dr. Vandegrift received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Ohio University and his baccalaureate and master's degrees in chemistry from Montclair State University. He previously served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Georgia Southern University, Dean of Science and Mathematics at Montclair State University and on the faculties of Murray State University, Illinois State University and Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Dr. Vandegrift retired from SIUE in 2012 after eight years as chancellor. Since his retirement, Vandegrift dedicated his time to his family. Vaughn and his wife, Sue, are the parents of three adult children. Beth is an attorney, while David and Mark are employed in private business. In addition, Vaughn and Sue are the proud grandparents of four granddaughters, Vaughn, Camilla, Elizabeth, and Amelia, and one grandson, Fletcher.