Editorial: Dean’s new position needs clarification
Published: Monday, September 16, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 16, 2013 02:09
Over the summer, Dean of Arts and Sciences Joanne Berger-Sweeney, Dean of Engineering Linda Abriola and Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Students John Barker appointed Bruce Reitman as dean of campus life and student leadership. A new senior level administrative position, this dean will act as a campus mediator, facilitating conversation among students, faculty and staff to address conflicts and improve communications.
Barker, in an email to the Tufts community, also indicated that the creation of this new role leaves room to refocus the responsibilities associated with the dean of student affairs, the position that Reitman has held since 2001. Once a new dean is chosen, he or she will concentrate on the student judicial process, issues surrounding alcohol and sexual abuse and the representation of first-generation or low-income students.
Reitman has had three decades in the Tufts community to inform his future work engaging all corners of the university. As Barker told the Daily in an interview last week, there is really no one better to fill the position.
However, the line between the responsibilities of the two deans seems blurred. These issues — ones that the new dean of student affairs will be responsible for — seem entangled with the dialogue and interactions that the dean of campus life and student leadership will look to foster.
We are grateful that the university is conscientious in addressing recurring issues that have pervaded the Tufts campus the past several years. Though it makes sense to appoint a separate faculty member to focus on these issues that deserve the university’s full attention, it is unclear how exactly the newly crafted position will redefine the level of communication among students, faculty and the administration.
For a position that boasts increased communication between students, faculty and administration, we would just like to learn more about exactly what Reitman strives to achieve in his new role and how it will extend beyond his previous duties and accomplishments. The Tufts community has yet to hear concrete details as to what Reitman will do. We are looking forward to hearing how he will go about achieving his goals as dean of campus life and student leadership, as well as how these two deans will work together and separately to improve student life on campus.