Student Voice

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Dean of students position to be filled by July

March 25, 2022

A position left vacant for about 17 years is being filled once again thanks to the actions of Jamie Zamjahn, the assistant chancellor for Student Success, and Chancellor Maria Gallo. The chancellor of student position will serve as a liaison between students, their families, and supporters, and will help students make connections on campus. This position will also voice student concerns to higher authorities, including Chancellor Gallo, and will evaluate campus policies to ensure they are student-friendly. 

The idea to fill this position once again came to light during the Chancellor’s Listening and Learning Tour, as well as during Zamjahn’s Discovery Meetings, where they noticed the position needed to be filled in order to centralize the work Gallo, Zamjahn, and committees faculty and staff are completing along with their typical duties. Zamjahn stated, “To really centralize our support for students is where this position really came from.” 

This position will oversee Residence Life, the University Center, Student Involvement, Dining, the Bias Incident Response Team, and the Behavioral Intervention Team. Whoever fills this position will also oversee the Student Government Association. 

To find the right candidate, Zamjahn stated, “We are partnering with Academic Search, a national search firm for higher education executives, and we have two consultants that we are working with. We’ve been partnering with them for about the last month. They have connections to hundreds of people in higher education.” He continued that the job has been sent to many people and higher education job boards. 

At the end of this month, NASPA, the National Association of Student Personnel Administers, will have a Student Affairs Annual Convention, where the position will be promoted to about ten thousand potential candidates. 

During the third week of April, Zoom interviews will be conducted with approximately 15-20 candidates, then in-person interviews will be conducted two weeks later with about three to five people. This interview team will include Dean Yohnk, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Ian Stroud, the director of Student Success, Alicia Reinke-Tuthill, the Ability Services manager, Jacqueline Lee, the manager of Student Conduct, Kenneth White, the assistant director of Residence Life, Cara Rubis, the director of the University Center and Dining Services, two SGA student representatives, and one faculty representative. Chancellor Gallo and Zamjahn will be making the final decision on who to hire after receiving the recommendations from the search committee. 

“We are looking for someone who truly walks the talk when it comes to being student-centered, someone whose actions will follow up with what they’re talking about, someone who’s truly equity-minded, making sure all populations and all students on this campus have a voice, someone who’s a change agent, someone who can help lift our university up,” Zamjahn said, “and a connector: we want someone who can work with our students and our faculty, our staff, and our community members outside UWRF to help us really create this culture.” 

An offer is expected to be made mid- to late-May, then they will begin sometime in July. 

Zamjahn stated, “It’s just a fantastic opportunity for our students, staff, and faculty to really have that one person we can go to and work with.”

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