This summer, the college will decide whether or not to hire a new Dean of Students or another similar administrative position. Former Dean of Students Paul McLoughlin left the college at the end of the 2016-2017 academic year.
The position has been titularly held by Vice President of Campus Life and Dean of Students Annette Diorio this academic year, but she said the responsibilities have been divided amongst multiple staff members. Diorio said that before making a decision on whether or not to hire a new position in the form of Dean of Students or otherwise, the college must discern the skills of whoever is ultimately hired in the Intercultural Development office and see if there is a gap to be filled.
The college is currently searching for two new administration members in the Office of Intercultural Development, in the roles of Assistant Director of Intercultural Development and Assistant Director of Intercultural Development/Coordinator of Gender and Sexuality Programs. Heading the searches is Assistant Dean and Director of Intercultural Development Liliana Madrid, who arrived on campus this semester.
“Depending on what those candidates bring to campus, we may have all those abilities that we need to meet the kinds of programming and work that students are trying to do,” she said. In the meantime, she said, “we already have a lot of folks on our staff who have tremendous…skill and great experience working with students.”
Dean of Equity and Inclusion Chris Hunt, hired this year, has also taken on “a lot of the public-facing duties of the Dean of Students,” Diorio said. He will be leading the graduates at the class of 2018 commencement, for example. Diorio has taken on supervising all of the staff McLoughlin supervised, while the supervision of the counseling center and Educational Equity Coordinator Jessica Brown were moved from Diorio’s office of campus life to Dean Hunt’s purview.
“What I was concerned about last year and what I remained concerned about is that the portfolio that Dean McLoughlin had was specific to Dean McLoughlin,” she said, “so we can’t really hire someone and say you’re going to do these things even if it’s not something you have a personal passion about.”
“Dean McLoughlin’s portfolio included a lot of work in alcohol prevention planning and a lot of work in behavioral health. [Assistant Dean of Students Jennifer] Dize has picked up the behavioral health work and [Student Wellness and Support Coordinator] Alissa Vreeland has great experience in wellness programming so that would probably not be a skill set that we have to go out and look for.”
Director of Student Involvement Kristin Cothran took on McLoughlin’s role of supervising student government, she added.