Harvard College Dean Evelynn M. Hammonds announced July 9 the appointment of Associate Dean Suzy Nelson as dean of the newly established Office of Student Life (OSL), which will be created by the merger of the current Office of Residential Life (ORL) and Office of Student Life and Activities (OSLA). In her new role, Nelson will continue to work with House masters, co-masters, and resident deans, as well as the Freshman Dean’s Office.
The administrative restructuring will improve delivery of critical services to undergraduates. Effective beginning the 2009-10 academic year, OSL will include residential life, housing, student activities, the Student Organization Center at Hilles, the Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub, the Harvard College Women’s Center, public service initiatives, and the Harvard Foundation.
“Suzy is the ideal person for this new position,” Hammonds said. “She has done a superb job as associate dean for residential life here, and has had extensive experience working with student organizations in previous positions at Cornell and Syracuse universities. I am delighted that she has agreed to take on this important position in the College.
“Given the departures of Judith H. Kidd, associate dean of student life and activities, and Monique Rinere, associate dean of advising programs, as well as the impending departure of Georgene Herschbach, dean for administration and finance, later this year, I have been considering how to organize the College in a way that will provide our undergraduates with the best learning experiences possible,” Hammonds continued. “After much deliberation over the past few weeks, I determined that merging these two existing offices into one would be the most effective way to leverage the expertise of our College staff members.
“Bringing these offices together helps us eliminate redundancy by combining the staff who oversee important aspects of students’ out-of-class experiences. Whether those learning opportunities are in our freshman dormitories, upperclass Houses, student organizations, or public service activities, the OSL will facilitate invaluable connections and streamline support for our undergraduates,” Hammonds explained.
“There are many benefits of closely aligning these offices, and I am looking forward to using the energy and creativity of the combined staff to create a more seamless experience for our undergraduates,” said Nelson.
The newly formed OSL will be composed of five fewer full-time staff members than were in the offices of ORL and OSLA, allowing the College an opportunity to reduce operating expenses without diminishing student and House life in the College.
In other staff changes related to this restructuring, Hammonds announced that Joshua McIntosh, assistant dean of ORL, has been appointed associate dean of Harvard College for student life. Assistant Dean and Director of Student Activities David Friedrich has been appointed assistant dean of Harvard College for student life. Susan Marine has been appointed assistant dean of Harvard College for student life and director of the Harvard College Women’s Center.