Dear Members of the Syracuse University Community: Over the last several months, hundreds of students, faculty, staff, administrators and trustees have engaged in constructive, collaborative and respectful dialogue. The Board of Trustees created a Special Committee on University Climate, Diversity…
Student Affairs Leadership Structure to Be Strengthened, Enhanced
The Division of Student Affairs is strengthening its leadership structure to further enhance student programs and services, strengthen connections across the University and better position its resources in support of students in alignment with the University’s new Academic Strategic Plan.
A national search will commence for a senior vice president of student affairs at the beginning of the fall semester, once students and faculty fully return to campus and are able to be fully involved in the search process. Special Assistant to the Chancellor and University College Dean Bea González will chair the search. The new senior vice president for student affairs will report to Chancellor Kent Syverud and serve on the Chancellor’s Executive Team. This individual will help to strengthen Student Affairs’ partnerships across the University and with external partners, and will oversee the division’s strategic planning, assessment and operations. The position is expected to be filled in the Spring 2016 semester.
Rebecca Reed Kantrowitz, currently senior vice president and dean of student affairs, will remain in this role until this search is complete. At that time, she will be appointed Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs and continue in a key leadership role. She will oversee the coordination of the division’s services in student engagement, student development and crisis response, as well as Student Affairs’ efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion, leadership and the student residential experience.
“With this new enhanced leadership structure, our outstanding Student Affairs staff will be able to provide an even more enhanced level of service and support student needs and improve student experiences,” says Chancellor Syverud. “I really appreciate the time and thinking that Rebecca has put into designing this structure. She and her team are exceptional, dedicated student affairs professionals. I have great confidence in the quality of our student engagement and services as we move forward. I also want to thank Dean Bea González for her willingness to utilize her decades of experience supporting students to lead this important search.” In addition, two new key appointments have been made in senior leadership roles within the division.
Colleen Bench, assistant vice president for student affairs and director of the Parents Office, has been appointed associate vice president for student engagement. She will oversee the following units: Career Services, First-Year and Transfer Programs, Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, the Parents Office, Student Activities and Student Centers and Programming Services.
Pamela Peter, director of student rights and responsibilities, has been named assistant dean of student affairs. She will continue her current duties and will take on new responsibilities, including working with the University’s schools and colleges to ensure a positive student life experience.
According to Reed Kantrowitz, the new leadership structure is the result of a self-analysis, examining how the division has been structured and how best it could be aligned to support the University’s Academic Strategic Plan and campus framework. It also addresses recent vacancies and shifts in leadership positions within the division. This was an opportune time, she says, to reassess structure and divide out responsibilities based on the important focuses of student support/services and strategic/operational goals.
“The Division of Student Affairs works to create a caring, understanding and connected community that enhances the holistic student experience,” Reed Kantrowitz says. “This new structure will help us bridge and build connections, while also ensuring our ability to provide the utmost quality of services for our students.”