University News

U. seeks new dean of students

Newly-formed nine-person search committee looks for candidate who prioritizes student needs

By
Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, March 5, 2015

The University has assembled a search committee charged with hiring a dean of students for the next academic year, said Ricky Gresh, director of campus life projects and committee chair. The committee convened for the first time in late January and will meet again Tuesday, Gresh said.

The position of dean of students, formerly titled the senior associate dean of student life, was vacated when J. Allen Ward assumed the role of assistant vice president for student affairs at Clayton State University in January.

Margaret Klawunn, vice president for campus life and student services and hiring manager for the position, reshaped the job by expanding its purview and modifying the title.

In renaming the position, Klawunn said she hopes that the person selected “will have a high profile on the campus as being an advocate and a visible position for students.” The position’s domain now includes student activities and the campus center, she added.

The ideal candidate is “somebody who’s really going to do a great job for the diversity of the student population we have here at Brown, and somebody who … can be a good spokesperson for students and a good advocate for student issues,” Klawunn said.   

The search committee includes nine members — five administrators, one professor, two undergraduate students and one graduate student — as well as Gale Batchelder, founder and principal of the New Leadership Group, a hiring firm based in Cambridge, Massachussetts.

“We’re looking for someone who really has an articulated, fleshed out vision for student support services,” said  Maahika Srinivasan ’15, president of the Undergraduate Council of Students and a committee member. The committee is also seeking someone who will “take a look at the recommendations that the Sexual Assault Task Force is making and really envision how to support the students going through the process,” she added.

“People are on the committee because they represent an important constituency or an important perspective,” Gresh said. “We’re absolutely committed as a committee to diverse hiring and ensuring a diverse and strong applicant pool.”

The January and March committee meetings will culminate in a third and final meeting in April, when the committee will identify roughly a dozen applicants for screening interviews, Gresh said.

After interviewing the selected applicants, the committee will invite three or four to visit campus. “Our aim is to bring candidates to campus before the spring semester is over so that they’re here when students are on campus,” Klawunn said.

The committee will then submit to Klawunn “at least two candidates we would recommend with strengths and weaknesses so that she can make a final hiring decision,” Gresh said.

“A search of this nature will typically receive 50 to 100 applications,” he said. “The number one thing I’m looking for is someone who is smart, somebody who can figure it out.”

  • Klang

    Students get raped. Margaret Klawunn creates a new position. I suppose she is not as nimble with her mind.