New residential commons to bring new dean position
Published: Sunday, February 10, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 10, 2013 20:02
The opening of the new student dorms is causing a wave of change, including the evolution of a position.
Dean of Student Life Dr. Lori White announced in an email Thursday Feb. 7 that the position of Executive Director of Residence Life and Student Housing will be removed to create a new position, Dean of Residence Life and Student Housing.
Dr. White said in her email, sent out to faculty and staff, that the position of dean would help the transition into the residential dorms.
“Structurally, the Dean in a residential commons model is viewed as both a student affairs position and one with the credentials to interact effectively with academic affairs,” said White.
The decision to change this position comes back to what the new residential commons model will represent to SMU’s campus.
“The move to a residential commons model, coupled with the new university curriculum and the Engaged Learning program, is a critical component of SMU’s strategy to become a ‘top 50’ university, and to enhance the connection between students inside and outside of the classroom,” said White.
The role of dean in a residential commons model is “viewed as both a student affairs position and one with the credentials to interact effectively with academic affairs.”
Other schools that have successfully made the transition to the residential commons model are Vanderbilt, Washington University, USC and Baylor.
Steven Logan, who has served as Executive Director of Residence Life and Student Housing for over five years was relieved of his position by the university sometime last week.
White said, “Steve Logan has been a valuable member of the Division and has contributed much to SMU in his 5+ years as the Executive Director of Residence Life and Student Housing. I sincerely thank him for his leadership and many contributions.”
When asked for comment, Logan said, “The best person to reply to your request is Dr. Lori S. White, Vice President for Student Affairs.”
When asked for more information on the decision, White said, “All the important information is in the letter below sent [Thursday] to the staff in the Division of Student Affairs.”
While Logan will no longer be Executive Director, he will move to a different role within the Student Affairs division beginning Feb. 19.
An email was sent out to RA’s and RLSH staff explaining the position change.
The email, sent by Associate Director of Residence Life and Student Housing Jennifer Post, explained the decision by White to remove the position of Executive Director to Dean.
The university will begin searching for the new dean on Aug. 31. The dorms are set to open for students in the fall of 2014.