Vanderbilt University Reorganizes Staff to Better Serve a Diverse Student Body

vanderbiltVanderbilt University has announced the reorganization of the Office of the Dean of Students so it is better able to serve the increasingly diversity student body at the university. A new Office of Social Justice and Identity has been established that will offer events, activities, and training programs that both celebrate diversity and serve to educate Vanderbilt students on pertinent issues of social justice, identity, and advocacy. Blacks make up 8 percent of the undergraduate student body at Vanderbilt, according to the most recent U.S. Department of Education data.

Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos stated that “we are now a stronger, smarter and more culturally, racially, ethnically, economically and geographically diverse university. We have a duty to ensure that our student services reflect the needs of all of our students, and these changes and new support resources represent an important investment in doing so.”

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan R. Wente added that “we will be able to better support students of varying backgrounds and identities through numerous programs that help to foster a sense of belonging, commemorate important cultural events, and facilitate understanding among people of differing backgrounds and orientations.”

Dobson_Frank_The reorganization effort, which will include the hiring of eight new staff positions, will be under the direction of associate dean of students and director of the Black Cultural Center, Frank E. Dobson Jr. Dr. Dobson noted that “we believe this new organization, and the additional resources that will be dedicated to it, are an important investment in our students’ success and demonstrate our commitment to ensuring all students are welcomed, respected and have the opportunity to grow and succeed.”

Dr. Dobson is a graduate of the University at Buffalo of the State University of New York System. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

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