I am delighted to announce the appointment of our new Dean of Students, Dr Maureen H. Powers.
Given the increasingly high standing of our University internationally, and in particular our growing reputation for delivering a first class, first choice student experience, this key student-facing appointment attracted great interest on an international stage.
Dr Maureen H. Powers, former Dean of Students at Stanford University, accepted our invitation to join our University team and will begin in November. Maureen has dedicated her academic career to transforming the student experience, holding senior student affairs positions at a number of leading institutions across the United States.
The role at Plymouth will see the Dean of Students oversee the end-to-end student experience, supporting their learning and pastoral needs in order that they can achieve their academic, personal and employment potential. The Dean of Students will lead the Student Gateway and work closely with the Students' Union to develop a deep understanding of student matters, ensuring our students, as partners, help shape our University.
On her appointment, Maureen commented; “As an educator, I have long admired universities that put students at the centre of all decision-making. The responsibility to shepherd, through true partnership, a robust relationship between students and the University, where the voice of the student body is both listened to and influential, is an exciting prospect - it takes an enterprising academic community to embrace such a forward thinking approach. Plymouth University is a world-class university with an excellent international reputation that is both impressive in its scope and is progressive in its nature. I am very much looking forward to being a part of such an inspiring and energising place.”
I am grateful to both Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor David Coslett and Students’ Union President, Jazz Singh-Khaira for the significant role they played in helping us design the role and support the robust recruitment and selection process.
Professor David Coslett said: “This exciting appointment comes as we celebrate some of our best ever National Student Survey results and launch our ‘Students as Partners’ agenda. We are determined to put our students at the heart of everything we do. Maureen's international experience will really help us deliver on our ambitious agenda.”
Jazz commented: “This is an exciting time for students and the Students’ Union and we will work closely with the Dean of Students to further enhance the student experience. Maureen will champion the student voice within the University and embed our students as partners ethos. What makes this appointment very special for students was the key role we played in the selection. Maureen was highly regarded by our Student Panel who were impressed by her wealth of experience and her strong sense of compassion. We are looking forward to working with her.”
Born in Massachusetts, Maureen earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Higher Education Policy at Indiana University, a Masters in Urban Affairs at St Louis University, Missouri and a Bachelor’s degree in Government at Georgetown University. She has since gone on to hold a range of senior management positions at a number of leading American Higher Education institutions. As Dean of Students at Stanford University, Maureen oversaw the offices of Judicial Affairs, Student Activities and Multicultural Education, as well as the University’s six student community centres, and the Students’ Union. At The City College New York, Maureen’s student-facing leadership responsibilities included student life, student activities, student services, student finance, the Student Government and athletics. She has also acted in national and international education advisory and consultancy roles.
In her spare time, Maureen enjoys the outdoors, the arts, cooking and travel.
I look forward to working with Maureen and to welcoming to our University later in the year.
Professor Wendy Purcell