New dean should emulate former Dean Church
The university has just begun to make headway on choosing a new dean of Student Affairs since former dean Jennifer Church vacated the position last August. The role has been filled by Interim Dean Dick Tucker, professor of applied linguistics and former head of the department of modern languages.
The dean of Student Affairs oversees health and wellness initiatives, on-campus housing, student organizations, services for international and first-year students, and multicultural and gender issue initiatives. As these affect students, we’d like the new dean to be someone who will communicate openly and effectively with students before making decisions that will directly impact students’ lives on campus.
We’d also like this candidate to commit equal time and resources to all groups represented on campus — Greeks and non-Greeks, domestic and international students, first-years and graduate students — and realize that all of these students have valuable contributions to make to campus life and deserve to have their voices heard.
Lastly, we’d like the new recipient of this position to be able to take student feedback and use it to solve problems creatively, making decisions or creating initiatives that will use the university’s resources wisely and improve campus life. We hope that the selection committee will realize the most suitable candidate may be outside the university, and that a new dean who will treat all students equally may be one who does not come into the position with biases based on the departments in which he or she worked on campus or the students and faculty he or she knows best.
The dean of Student Affairs plays a major role in the character of campus life, and finding a suitable replacement is not a decision to be taken lightly. We hope the next dean will be as proactive and involved as Dean Church was, and we’re glad that she’s on the committee making this important decision.