Student Affairs Division Reorganized; New Dean of Student Experience

Last Monday, President Rosenbaum announced a reorganization of the Student Affairs division. The changes were recommended in the final report from a Visiting Committee on Student Affairs, who were invited by the Institute to evaluate the division in February. The committee was composed of higher education professionals and student affairs leadership from a variety of peer institutions and companies such as MIT, Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, Harvey Mudd, Pfizer, and Polaris. During their visit, the only time they spoke to any students was during a 30-minute “coffee reception” with members of the ASCIT Board of Directors and the Interhouse Committee.

Now known as the Office of the Vice President and Faculty Dean of Students (OVPFDOS — “oof-dahs”), the division will remain under the leadership of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA), Professor Kevin Gilmartin.

The most notable change is the addition of a new position, the Dean of Students for Student Experience (DSSE). The Office of Student Experience (OSE), directed by Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Felicia Hunt, will now report to the DSSE instead of directly to VPSA Gilmartin.

Diana Jergovic, a Vice President for Strategy Implementation, will serve as interim DSSE. In an email to the Tech, Jergovic explained that “there will be a national search for the next dean of students, student experience. We haven’t finalized a process yet, but we will work with a search firm and student leaders will be involved in part of the process.”

When asked if she has any goals for her time as DSSE, Jergovic responded, “To support my professional colleagues in the office of the vp and faculty dean of students in their continued work to enhance Caltech’s student experience.”

Two other dean positions have been created as well: Dean of Admissions and Dean of Students for Finance and Operations. These positions will be assumed by Director of Undergraduate Admissions Ashley Pallie and Business Operations Officer & Chief of Staff Ryan O’Connor, respectively. These changes are only nominal — each will continue their current duties.

Including Undergraduate Dean Jennifer Jahner (welcome back from your sabbatical!) and Graduate Dean David Chan, there are now a total of five deans that report to VPSA Gilmartin. Two (Jahner and Chan) are faculty, and the other three are staff.

Regarding the impetus behind these changes, Jergovic stated, “Over the last few years, we have made a concerted effort in collaboration with our trustees to evaluate operations and activities supporting the student experience. President Rosenbaum, Professor Gilmartin, and many others contributed to the continuing dialog, students and alumni contributed to the C3 report and implementing its recommendations, and higher ed and student affairs professionals, along with trustees, faculty, and students contributed to the visiting committee process.”

Chart showing how the OVPFDOS division is now organized. At the head is Faculty Dean Kevin Gilmartin. Reporting to him are five Deans: Dean of Students for Student Experience (Diana Jergovic, interim), Dean of Admissions (Ashley Pallie), Dean of Students for Finance and Operations (Ryan O’Connor), Dean of Graduate Studies (David Chan), and Dean of Undergraduate Studies (Jennifer Jahner). Furthermore, the Office of Student Experience (OSE) reports to the Dean of Students for Student Experience, and the Associate Deans (Lesley Nye and Kristen Weyman) report to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.