Tuesday, June 3, 2014

An essay on the legalization of student affairs… worth a read:


A dean-colleague of mine holds a JD.  He falls back on it frequently.  Another dean of students I know was once indicted in the wake of an alcohol-related death on his college's campus.  Whenever our student life divisions investigate and adjudicate allegations of sexual assault they run the risk of subsequently be sued by either the accuser or the alleged perp… 50/50, I would venture.  Just a few signs of the times.

I am old enough to recall another time when being the dean of students was fun.  Back in those often-maligned days of in loco parentis, a wise DOS handled issues in house.  Were there ever miscarriages of justice? Undoubtedly.  Are there none today?  Really?  On balance, I insist, our campuses were the better back then.

As the author of the essay linked above suggests, "Student affairs has been forced to streamline processes and services, potentially eliminating desperately needed programming in order to set aside funds for statutory compliance. When our services and programs shrink in the cause of compliance, our capacity for one-on-one work with students slowly diminishes. Our students suffer, and when our students suffer, our institutions suffer. Retention and overall academic success are affected, and our chief financial officers contact us, concerned about the bottom line."

Food for thought, friends.
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