Westminster Looks for New Dean of Student Life
BY COURTNEY GALLAGHER
Vice President and Dean of Student Life Stephanie Krauth resigned Tuesday, Nov. 3. Dr. Carolyn Perry, senior vice president and dean of faculty, will assume the position’s duties until a new dean is hired.
President Benjamin Akande addressed Krauth’s resignation, outlined plans for the Office of Student Life, and answered questions before a packed lecture hall in Coulter Science Center on Nov. 5.
“I want to show you that change is not easy, but necessary,” Akande said to begin the meeting, adding that top leaders must be completely on board, especially in times when change is important.
Akande provided no direct explanation for Krauth’s resignation but made reference to times when student life has “dropped the ball” and the college has had to apologize to families.
He expressed thanks for Krauth’s three years of service and assured students there would be a “seamless” transition to a new dean.
“What you will get is excellence,” he said, referring to Perry taking on the responsibilities in the interim.
Akande said a search committee will be created with student representation and that the committee will speak for the many constituencies on campus. He said he is open to having the search committee look internally for the new dean and welcomed students to nominate candidates by sending him the reasons why that individual should “step up to the plate.”
“I hear you loud and clear,” Akande said about students’ desire to give input into the decision. “Your voices will be heard.”
According to Akande, the search will not be rushed, but thorough.
“When the decision is made, it will be crystal clear that that person is the ideal candidate for us,” he said.
When asked what the ideal candidate looks like, Akande said Westminster is looking for someone who is collaborative and who not only comes up with ideas, but is open to new ideas — and to students challenging them.
Akande said that future of student life begins with delivering the kinds of experiences that will keep students engaged.
Some students wanted to know more about how this change will affect student life policy.
“I think the committee should most definitely review all of the practices the dean of student life had the authority to take charge of and be sure that the person who takes this office next is well aware of the issues regarding Greek and residential life that have come up in the past,” Alex Rauscher, ’18, said.
Throughout the meeting, Akande encouraged students to approach him with their thoughts, concerns, and ideas.
“Write me directly,” he said. “I want to hear from you. My door is always open; let’s continue this communication.”
I think President Akande handled it very professionally,” Lexi Lopez, ’18, said. “He has a sound plan for finding a replacement for Dean Krauth, and I’m eager to see how this change is going to impact the campus.”