1st Edition

Keep Calm and Call the Dean of Students A Guide to Understanding the Many Facets of the Dean of Students' Role

Edited By Art Munin, Lori S. White Copyright 2019
    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    The role of Dean of Students is pivotal: in students’ lives; for their institutions as a conduit to senior administration about issues of concern to students; as a figure who can coordinate disparate campus constituencies -- from academic affairs and athletics to campus safety and relationships with parents and alums; and as a crisis manager.What preparation, skills, dispositions, and knowledge do DOSs need to be effective in their role; and, indeed, what areas and range of activities generally fall under their responsibility?Through chapters by experienced DOSs – from early career to veterans and in between – this book provides vivid first-hand accounts of what’s involved in managing the multiple roles of the deanship, its immense personal rewards, the positive impact that practitioners can make in the lives of students, and on campus policy and environment, without glossing over the demands on time and the concomitant stresses. The contributors describe the paths they followed to take on the role, and what they do to keep current.Each chapter offers a wealth of anecdotes that provide an insider’s feel for the daily life of the DOS, and how incumbents have found ways to integrate family and personal needs with the discharging of their often demanding responsibilities. The contributing authors offer valuable advice on setting priorities and dealing with issues as varied as setting budgets, creating an effective team, delegation, and addressing student conduct issues. They offer guidance on developing allies across campus, keeping up to date with trends and legislation, and building a network of mentors and advisors through professional associations and connection with their peers at institutions around the country. The book concludes with some perspectives about the meaning and purpose of the dean of students role in our current era and as we look to the future of higher education.The dean of students is a challenging role because it is often the one administrator thrust onto the frontlines to meet students not only at their best, but also at their worst. This person is an advocate and educator, disciplinarian and friend, confidant and counselor, and advisor and parent all rolled into one. Keep Calm and Call the Dean of Students offers a unique window into this challenging and rewarding position that will appeal to sitting deans; to those seeking this role; and to senior leaders in higher education seeking to appoint a DOS and/or organize a dean of students portfolio of responsibilities.

    Foreword—Bridget Turner Kelly and Robert D. Kelly Acknowledgments1. Setting the Stage—Art Munin 2. The Roads Traveled. On Becoming a Dean of Students—Jacob Diaz, Adam Goldstein, and Lauren Scott Rivera 3. The Juggling Act. Navigating Competing and Complicated Demands—Shadia Sachedina and Anna Gonzalez 4. Student Concerns, Advocacy, Support…and YOU!—Denise Balfour Simpson and Akirah J. Bradley 5. Dean on Call. Life Skills for the Effective Dean of Students—Anne Flaherty and Rob Wild 6. The 360-DegreeView of the Dean of Students—Penny Rue and Marla Morgen 7. By the Seat of One’s Pants. Reflections of a First-Year Dean of Students—Vijay Pendakur 8. Wrinkles, Gray Hair, and Enormous Gratitude. Four Decades as a Dean of Students—Sue Wasiolek 9. The Dean of Students in Retrospect and Prospect—James J. Rhatigan and James W. Lyons 10. The Essence of Being a Dean of Students—Lori S. White Editors and Contributors Index


    Art Munin has served as a diversity educator and consultant for institutions across the United States for 15 years through his company Art Munin Consulting (artmunin.com). He currently serves as Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Munin has coauthored chapters in the books Closing the Opportunity Gap: Identity-Conscious Strategies for Retention and Student Success and Handbook for Student Leadership Development. His first book is Color by Number: Understanding Racism Through Facts and Stats on Children. As a complement to this work, he has served in several capacities through NASPA, including the chair of the AVP Steering Committee, AVP Institute faculty, associate editor for Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, the Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Initiative, and the regional conference planning committee. Lori S. White is the Vice Chancellor for students at Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to her arrival at Washington University, she served as the Vice President for Student Affairs and Clinical Professor of Education at Southern Methodist University and also worked at the University of Southern California, Stanford, Georgetown, San Diego State University, and the University of California, Irvine. She has served on the board of directors for the Association for Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and for the NASPA Foundation. In 2009, she was named a Pillar of the Profession by NASPA.

    "The role of the Dean of Students on campus has provided a home for student support, advocacy and crisis management for decades. Keep Calm and Call the Dean of Students uses the voices of past and present student affairs professionals to provide insight into 'a day in the life' of the Dean of Students. This is an excellent resource for those in current Dean of Students positions and for those aspiring to be in the role at some point in their career.”

    Vernon A. Wall, Director, Business Development at LeaderShape and President and Founder, One Better World, LLC; 2020–2021 President ACPA – College Student Educators International

    “Keep Calm and Call the Dean of Students is a publication which honors one of the most legendary and important positions of student affairs. Regardless of our position in student affairs, all of us serve in some form of a Dean of Students capacity to our students and campus. This book helps us understand the complexities of this important role, skills necessary for success, and strategies for thriving. I appreciate the diverse voices represented in this book from the legends to the current to the future."

    Lori Reesor, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

    University of Wisconsin-Madison

    "A timely contribution to the literature, Keep Calm and Call the Dean of Students provides insight into the complexity of the Dean of Student position and the skills and abilities that one must have to be successful in the position. The authors capture the diversity within the position across different institutions and the commonalities among those serving in these roles. A must read for those contemplating the role and those responsible for hiring and supervising Dean of Students!"

    Amy Hecht, Vice President for Student Affairs

    Florida State University

    "When most people hear the term 'Dean of Students' they attach great importance to that role, given the historical prominence of the position in campus life. The authors included in this book bring the DOS position to life and validate the significance that is attached to the role. In this volume readers will gain essential insights into the role from pioneering Deans and contemporary innovators. This book will stimulate your thinking and enrich your practice."

    Larry D. Roper, Professor of Language, Culture and Society

    Oregon State University

    "Bridging the gap between students, administration, and campus constituents can be stressful, time-consuming, unpredictable—and extraordinarily fulfilling. Keep Calm is a must-read for student affairs professionals tasked with balancing the responsibilities of an educator, mentor, and crisis manager. From relatable challenges to humbling experiences, each anecdote explores the evolving nature of student advocacy, emphasizes the importance of engaging in difficult but necessary conversations, and captures just how rewarding this career can be."

    Ajay Nair, Ph.D. President

    Arcadia University; Former Senior Vice President and Dean of Campus Life at Emory University

    "Being a Dean of Students should be a TV series with both drama and comedy episodes but mostly filled with inspirational scripts of changing the lives of college students. The Deans in this book have hundreds of those stories that inform, warn, teach, envision, and inspire! This book is a must-read, behind-the-scenes perspective into this fascinating position."

    Susan R. Komives, Professor Emerita

    University of Maryland, former Dean on three campuses, and former President of ACPA and CAS

    "This is the ideal handbook that provides much needed advice and insight to one of the most important, essential roles on a college campus. From dealing with complex and challenging student situations, crisis management, and work-life balance, this will be useful in setting a foundation on what to expect from a Dean of Students. Being the first of its kind, this is a must read for higher education professionals, at any stage in their career.”

    Patricia A. Whitely, Vice President for Student Affairs

    University of Miami