News | Administration

Office of Student Affairs to be restructured instead of hiring new dean

  • CHANGES ARE COMING | Instead of hiring a new dean to replace Interim Dean of Student Affairs Terry Martinez, the Office of Student Affairs will be overhauled.

Updated, April 25, 3:12 p.m.

Columbia College Dean James Valentini and School of Engineering and Applied Science Dean Mary Boyce announced in an email Friday that the Office of Student Affairs will be overhauled instead of hiring a new dean of Student Affairs.

The Office of Community Development will become the Office of Student Life, which will include student engagement, multicultural affairs, and residential programs.

Boyce and Valentini will begin a new search for a dean of undergraduate student life, who will report directly to Boyce and Valentini. Boyce and Valentini will also help to determine the role of the new executive vice president for student affairs, which was announced by University President Lee Bollinger earlier this month.

In a statement, Boyce and Valentini said that “this moment in time offers us the perfect opportunity to improve our organizational structure with a system that will be more responsive to the students we serve.”

Dean of Student Affairs Kevin Shollenberger stepped down last year, and was replaced by Terry Martinez, then-dean of community development and multicultural affairs, in an interim capacity.

In November, the University announced it had hired the firm Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates to conduct a nationwide search for the permanent dean of Student Affairs. That same month, Martinez announced she would not apply for the position.

Earlier this month, Martinez announced that she would leave Columbia at the end of the semester to become the associate vice provost and dean of student life at Johns Hopkins University.

Two candidates were brought in and interviewed for the position this semester, but Boyce and Valentini instead decided to restructure the office.

“We think the search process was very productive,” Boyce and Valentini said in a statement. “We learned about other schools’ structures and how they support and engage students, and that, in turn, encouraged us to think about what we could do differently to provide an ever better experience for undergraduates today.”

samantha.cooney@columbiaspectator.com  |  @sammcooney

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Anonymous posted on

Kids get raped. Deans "announced a new structure". WTF. We do expect a certain amount of intelligence and effectiveness from deans, and from Bollinger. We are not getting from them what we should be able to expect. Oh yeah and shut up, Columbia internal counsel. We can spot you from miles away.

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