Dean of Students departs

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Smith moves on; no replacement named

File Photo

After four years of serving as the Dean of Students of Saint Louis University, Scott Smith has moved on to take the position as Vice President of Student Affairs at Barry University.

“It is a huge loss for SLU,” Vice President of Student Development Kent Porterfield said. “Scott’s work at the University these last four years has been nothing short of exemplary.”

According to Porterfield, Smith has received several opportunities for vice president positions at various institutions, but this past summer he interviewed for and was offered the position at Barry University.

“This is a promotion for Scott,and it is certainly one he deserves and has earned,” Porterfield siad.

Barry University is a smaller, Catholic institution in Miami Shores, Fla. The Student Affairs Division at Barry is similar to the Division of Student Development at SLU, as it focuses on creating a university environment that will work toward the success of students.

With the position of Dean of Students currently vacant, Porterfield said that the jobs and projects of the role have been dispersed among the remaining Student Development faculty. The time frame of Smith’s departure did not make conducting a search for a new Dean achievable during the summer, but Porterfield said he plans to post the position as soon as next week.

“In terms of impact, we will try to make the changes as invisible to the students as possible,” Porterfield said. “This system is not ideal for any length of time, but we can make it work.”

Porterfield said that he was appreciative of the willingness of the Student Development Staff to fill in while the Dean of Students role is unoccupied.

“Scott was a wonderful colleague to work with,” Assistant Vice President of Student Development Leanna Fenneburg said. “He had a broad prospective on student life with things like Student Government Association. He made a big impact on polices affecting students and helping students to be successful. We have big shoes to fill.”

As Dean of Students, Smith managed organizations like Student Conduct and Parent Services, dealt with student crisis situations and helped to advise SGA.

“Dean Smith was a very good moderator and personal mentor for our organization’s leadership,” SGA President Matt Ryan said. “He dedicated much time and energy to helping student government association better campus life for students. He will be missed.”

Despite the vacancy, Porterfield said he does not foresee any major changes to the Division of Student Development or the role of the Dean of Students.

“We always look at [changes], but I’ve kept the job pretty intact,” Porterfield said. “Since Scott was made Dean, we made changes in terms of duties and functions to the role when we reorganized the division. When I looked at the position this time, I felt I didn’t see anything we could really unbundle from it.”

Once the position opening is posted, Student Development said it hopes to start a national search for candidates and start interviews around October or November. Porterfield said that the administration is looking for someone not only with the basic skills and credentials, but also someone who can embrace Jesuit mission and values of the University.

Student Development said it plans to extend an offer for the position by the beginning of spring semester.