May 12–14, 2016
Committee chair Laura Hicks Roberts '85 opened the meeting. Committee vice chair candidates, David Wagner '99 and Molly Van Metre '81, briefly addressed the committee to share their backgrounds and interests in the position. Committee members voted by paper ballot and it was announced later that day that Molly Van Metre will be the incoming vice chair. Tim Millikin ’05, current vice chair, will become the chair on July 1.
Liz Agosto '01, senior associate dean of student affairs, addressed the committee providing various updates about student affairs division services, programs, and initiatives:
- Dean Agosto reviewed the division's goals for the coming year and noted that academic success remains the primary goal for students. The College remains committed to providing academic support for all students.
- The student life unit was recently reorganized and includes Dartmouth Broadcasting, Greek life, the Collis Center, the Forensics Union, and the Outdoor Programs office. All of these areas within the division have shared resources and expectations.
- The leadership for both the Tucker Center for Spiritual Life and the Center for Service will be in place this summer, ensuring that both units are thriving.
- The new house communities will start their first year at the beginning of the fall term.
- The College continues to look at diversity and inclusion. Much of these efforts will be centered within the Inclusive Excellence process. A specific effort within the Division of Student Affairs is Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA), through which the division will assess what more can be done internally to promote inclusivity and reduce barriers to student success.
Dean of the College Rebecca Biron then addressed the committee. She introduced herself and noted that she has been a faculty member for 10 years. In her new role she has come to more fully realize the amazing work of her Student Affairs colleagues, whose work requires much time and sacrifices. As Dean of the College, she has a more holistic view of this work and of the infrastructure behind the College and students' experiences that is often invisible.
One tool under development is a digital platform to capture what students are doing here at Dartmouth and through other organizations. The platform would serve to collect students' pathways and opportunities; as staff and students have that information they can better understand student experiences. As dean, this tool and other efforts will enable further prompting of student reflection throughout their experience at Dartmouth (I.e. selection of major, time management, setting priorities, etc.). The tool will also help facilitate advising. Lastly, the platform's content would be exportable, allowing students to capture and export their materials and experiences. The tool will likely be unique to Dartmouth, not a typical expanded transcript.
Dean Biron will work to build reflection at a global level (across programs). She is exploring a four-year approach to student leadership that is coordinated and targeted. As all students will be part of the new house communities, those spaces could serve as a space to practice leadership in an inviting and optional manner. As dean, she is focused on coordinating strengths and opportunities already in place at Dartmouth, infusing current experience with coordinated thinking and efforts.
The committee meeting transitioned to a panel discussion with several student leaders who discussed their leadership experiences on campus. Panel participants included Jay Raju ‘18, Rachael Rhee '16, Mary Sieredzinski ‘17, Jordyn Turner ’16, and Austin Welch ’17. Collectively the student panelists reflected on their insights and lessons learned on campus, focusing on specific leadership experiences, which included the Greek Leadership Council, Dartmouth Peak Performance (DP2), Management Leadership Development Program, Residential Life and living-learning communities, Panhellenic Council, Rockefeller Leadership Fellows Program, and Army Reserves Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). Once the students discussed their myriad insights and great experiences as leaders, there was discussion with the committee members.
As the panel concluded, the meeting then transitioned to roundtable discussions with the student panelists, additional student leaders, and alumni councilors. Individual tables shared key points from their discussions, highlights included student leadership takeaways, discussion of the progression of leadership over students' four years on campus, acknowledgment that leadership development is currently ad hoc, as well as general discussion of the often intense process students go through in applying to College and once on campus the need to work with other exceptional students.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the incoming committee chair, Tim Millkin '05, thanked all for their participation, especially Laura Hicks Roberts '85 for her leadership as outgoing committee chair.