The Deal With Deans

 

Enough about you, let's talk about me.

Okay, not me personally so much as me and the other deans and what we do.
And, how what we do relates to you.

If you're like I was starting college, then you don't really know what a
dean is or why you should care about it at all. You've probably heard of the
Dean's List and you know that making it IS a good thing. You may also know
that if you get caught doing something you shouldn't do you may have to meet
with a dean and that usually is NOT a good thing. Or maybe you've seen the
movie "Animal House" or the television show "Community" and your impression
of deans is that we are incompetent, evil, ignorant, morons who spend our
days scheming up ways to make students' lives miserable.

We aren't and we don't.

Actually, the deans at Colby are capable, kind, intelligent, professionals
and we spend our days working on ways to make students' lives more
meaningful and fulfilling.

You're probably thinking, "Oh sure, Dean Terhune, you SAY you're not an evil
moron trying to ruin our lives, but why should we believe you?"

Fair enough.

Here's why:

The advising deans (Joe Atkins, Tashia Bradley, Paul Johnston, Sue McDougal,
Barbara Moore, and Jed Wartman) are experienced advisors/teachers/mentors
who are available to help you think through your plans, negotiate troubles
you may encounter in or out of class, assist you in preparing to study
abroad or for a summer internship, or just listen if you need someone to
talk to.

Dean Atkins and Dean Moore also provide specific assistance and support to
students with learning differences or coping with medical issues that
require unique accommodations.

Dean Bradley also directs the Pugh Center and works with dozens of students
to promote multicultural education and understanding at Colby.

Dean McDougal also supports international students at Colby in a variety of
ways (e.g. academic and personal advising, the host-family program, and
advising the International Student Organization and its programs).

Dean Wartman also direct the Office of Campus Life where he and his staff
oversee residential education and housing, outdoor education (including
COOT), leadership programming, and all of the more than 120 student
organizations including student government, class councils, WMHB radio
station, the Colby Echo (newspaper), the Student Programming Board (SPB) and
many more.

Dean Johnston also advises the student conduct board and works with students
when maybe things didn't go so well. Okay, he does the disciplinary stuff so
you may not always want to go see him, but if you do you will discover that
he's a really nice guy and he's more interested in talking with you about
how to make things go well than he is in wagging a finger at you.

Kurt Nelson is Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life. He and his colleagues
provide support to individual students and student groups (e.g. Hillel,
Colby Christian Fellowship, the Newman club, and the Muslim Student
Organization to name a few) involved in the full array of religious and
spiritual endeavors.
In addition to the deans there are a number of really cool, very helpful,
and extremely important people who oversee departments and programs you
should know about.

Director of the Career Center, Roger Woolsey, and his team teach, counsel,
and assist students in learning about the full array educational,
internship, and career opportunities. They provide a rich offering of
workshops and programs to help you develop the skills you will need to
pursue the educational and job opportunities beyond Colby that interest you
most.

Director of the Counseling Center Patti Newmen and her wonderful colleagues
offer individual and group counseling programs that are specifically
tailored to Colby students. Roughly one-third of all Colby students take
advantage of the confidential, individual services provided  by the
counseling center, and just about everyone participates in some of the
wellness programs they support in conjunction with the Health Center and
student organizations like Student Health On Campus (SHOC) and Active Minds.

Dr. Paul Berkner oversees the Health Center and the Athletic Trainers. The
Health Center is open seven days a week when the College is in session and
provides exceptional care if you're sick as well as a wide offering of
preventive care and health education services.

My job as Dean of Students is to help these deans and directors and their
staffs and their departments succeed in making your Colby experience the
best it can be. Specifically we work to ensure that you're your life outside
of the classroom supports what you are doing inside the classroom. And that
your Colby education is personally challenging, intellectually engaging,
socially fulfilling, safe, fun, and rewarding.

Because we know that emergencies happen, there is always a dean on-call, a
counselor on-call, and a health care provider on-call whenever the college
is in session. And by always I mean always: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

I don't want to mislead you. There may be times when the issues we have to
discuss or deal with are not easy or enjoyable. But having honest and
direct, if difficult, conversations is really an act of caring and respect.

Our focus is on students and the thing we do and enjoy most is talking and
working directly with you. We want to get to know you and to hear about your
ideas and interests. We are easy to find, accessible, and ready, willing,
and able to find time to meet you in our offices or for lunch, or coffee, or
just a short conversation on the quad. We read and respond to our email -
maybe not instantly, but always within a day.

There is no "double-secret probation" at Colby. Real deans aren't like the
ones in the movies. Colby deans do what we do because we like students.

Enough about us. From now on let's talk about you.

Jim Terhune
Dean of Students