For many returning students, former Dean of Students Jim Hoppe was a friend just as much as he was a dean. When he departed for Emerson College after last semester, it was unclear what, if anything, would change with his departure. One change is clear. DeMethra LaSha Bradley, Macalester’s new Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, will be taking on a broader title than her predecessor, along with a broader role in strategic planning for the college.
But what does a dean of students do in the first place? What about an assistant vice president for student affairs?
According to Bradley, her main task as dean of students is the hands-on management of student problems.
“[It could be] a leave of absence, a student wanting to have more information about how to join a particular club or be active in MCSG, or a roommate situation that somehow comes into my purview,” Bradley said. “[It could also include] faculty communications, if a faculty [member] is concerned about a student, all the way through, whether it’s [a] crisis or emergency management.”
In this respect, Bradley’s responsibilities will look similar to Hoppe’s. In her role as assistant vice president, however, she will also be making decisions about the long-term direction of Student Affairs. Within the division, she will be working most closely with Disability Services, Health and Wellness, International Student Programs and Residential Life. With regards to her role as assistant vice president, Bradley did not have any immediate suggestions as to what changes she would like to effect in student affairs at Macalester.
In her former positions at the University of Vermont she worked to establish the school’s academic integrity program, as well as to create a personalized experience for admitted and first-year students. At Macalester, however, Bradley said she still needs to do her research, to figure out the details of life here and to “understand who all the players are.”