In her doctoral research at Columbia University, Dean of Students candidate Frances Magee is studying the relationship between faculty research and student engagement. As the dean for campus life at New York Institute of Technology, she applies her research to work with students on engagement initiatives and help with academic affairs.
Magee visited campus as the fourth candidate for the dean of students position, a role that would blend her research with her work in higher education. Before becoming dean of campus life at NYIT, she served as the assistant dean for residential programs, community development and student affairs at Columbia University.
“I have a broad base of experience in a lot of different areas,” Magee said. “Of course, I would have to learn what do all these pieces mean here at William and Mary.”
To figure out what the pieces mean, Magee emphasized the need for her to interact with students.
“What I believe the function is of a dean of students is to serve as the spokesperson for the student experience on campus,” Magee said. “What that means is, I have to understand the student experience.”
Magee noted that meetings with students, faculty and administrators in the dean of students office will help shape her role on campus.
“When I come into a new role, it’s really, really important to take time to understand,” Magee said. “I would engage the guidance of people around me to see who I need to meet with.”
As a leader, Magee suggested that collaboration creates more effective administrators.
“I’m very team oriented,” Magee said. “My style is that I don’t know best. I have some good ideas, I admit it, but I’m one of a team and others have good ideas too. I think ideas get better when others participate in it.”
When controversial policies come up, Magee noted that encouraging dialogue between students and administrators helps to mitigate problems.
“My approach in those situations tends to be to engage in conversation and to try and understand what is the need that’s being presented here,” Magee said.
For the other four Dean of Students candidates, click on the links below.