Boston College reestablished the Office of the Dean of Students (DOS) this year after its dissolution in 2019, consolidating four offices and reintroducing the dean of students position.
“The main goal is to provide a more streamlined experience for students, and for our DOS team to be able to address challenges, concerns and reports of incidents in comprehensive and effective ways,” Kelly said.
The office, which is located in Maloney Hall, brings together the offices of student support, disability services, student conduct, and off-campus life.
“Bringing these areas together is conducive to responding to issues and incidents that may not fall neatly into a singular area or process, or concerns that require a more thoughtful and widespread approach,” Kelly said.
Former Associate Vice President for Student Engagement and Formation Tom Mogan served as the last dean of students. Mogan now serves as the interim associate dean of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences.
According to Kelly, this consolidation will also give the office a more holistic role within the community in order to build positive relationships with students.
Vice President for Student Affairs Shawna Cooper-Whitehead said the first step in recreating the office was a conversation with BC’s senior leadership.
“I then spoke with administrators and students regarding their needs for centralized support for addressing both immediate needs and larger concerns,” Cooper-Whitehead said. “After speaking with Associate Vice President/Dean of Students Corey Kelly, we proposed the recreation of the office that was met with support from campus partners and students alike.”
Kelly said she is working to construct an identity and vision for the office to share with the BC community. The new office also hopes to proactively address issues and build a sense of community and belonging, according to Kelly.
“As Associate Vice President/Dean of Students, my role is to have a broad view of the student experience at Boston College, to be highly attuned and responsive to student concerns, and to lead my team to do the work they do on a daily basis with students to achieve our goals,” she said.
Beyond working with the office’s four main divisions, Kelly said she will have a role in LGBTQ+ student support functions, crisis response, Title IX adjudication, bias-incident response, and response to other significant student incidents, concerns, and challenges.
One initiative Kelly mentioned was a multi-day training on restorative practices with a select group of BC community members this winter. The training will focus on providing key individuals with the skills and language to promote community and belonging, she said.
“These Initiatives will allow us not only to be caring, competent and efficient in our responses to reports and incidents, but also to play a role in building skills, promoting respect and positive decision-making, and contributing to a strong sense of community,” Kelly said.
Cooper-Whitehead said Kelly is a major asset to Student Affairs and that she is excited to continue working with her as the new dean of students.
“As the former Director of Student Conduct, Corey Kelly was an exceptional colleague in how she navigated student behavior throughout the pandemic, while simultaneously looking for ways to enhance student community building through practices like Restorative Justice and working with the Student Conduct Board,” Cooper-Whitehead said.
The newest iteration of the Office of the Dean of Students will allow students to more seamlessly navigate BC’s community standards, according to Cooper-Whitehead.
“Independent responsibility is a part of the formative education we provide at BC and the DOS Office serves in a crucial role for students navigating their journey into adulthood,” she said.