Mega Fair showcases some of the more than 500 clubs and organizations students can choose to join.
Mega Fair showcases some of the more than 500 clubs and organizations students can choose to join. Photo: Andrew Katko

Division of Student Affairs takes on new name: Student Life

Miami’s Division of Student Affairs has spent the past year undergoing a comprehensive revision process, resulting in a revitalized structure and a new name: Student Life.

The new name reflects the division's commitment to helping students achieve the maximum benefit from their Miami experience in preparation for life and leadership in a diverse, global world.

"Life outside the classroom is core to the Miami experience," said Jayne Brownell, vice president for Student Life. "Our name change reflects our focus as a residential campus on helping students grow and learn as emerging adults, in complement with their academic pursuits.”

The new name isn't the only change for the division. After an extensive planning process involving external reviews, focus groups, written assessment and benchmarking, the division has emerged with a clearer vision for the future. Other changes include:

Assistant vice president for health and wellness

The newly restored assistant vice president for health and wellness position, vacant since 2013, will provide innovative leadership to the following departments within Student Life: student health service, student wellness (including sexual and interpersonal violence [SIV] prevention and education), and student counseling services. Stephen Large began in this role June 11.

Office of community standards

The office of ethics and student conflict resolution (frequently shortened to “OESCR”) is changing its name to the office of community standards. The change reflects a shift in focus for the office, emphasizing a more proactive and educational approach based on our community’s values and expectations.

The office will also welcome a new director, Ann James, on July 18.

Orientation staff strike welcoming poses around the sundial

Summer orientation staff members introduce new students to campus life.

Residence life changes

The office of residence life has undergone several structural changes.

  • Quad themes (e.g. creativity and innovation, leadership and service, honors) through intentional placement of living learning communities.
  • Introduction of academic neighborhoods for those who do not select a living learning community. Each corridor of a large building will house a different academic college neighborhood. Neighborhoods will support students' individual academic efforts and promote opportunities for transdisciplinary conversations within the halls.
  • Introduction of affinity clusters. Residence life will coordinate communities for students who are out of state, first-generation college students and transfer students. Students can choose to live with peers who share some type of social identity, thus allowing greater peer and staff support.
  • Other new living learning communities include community justice and well-being, nursing, and various student-created communities.

Wilks Leadership Institute moving

The Harry T. Wilks Leadership Institute is relocating to the Armstrong Student Center from Warfield Hall. Its new space in the heart of campus demonstrates the division’s commitment to leadership development.

With these changes, the division hopes to emerge as a more fluid, adaptable organization with a stronger, clearer message.

The division’s current direct reporting units include:

  • Armstrong Student Center
  • Community engagement and service
  • Community standards
  • Dean of students
  • Miller Center for Student Disability Services
  • Orientation and transition programs
  • Parent and family programs
  • Residence life
  • Rinella Learning Center
  • Student Activities and the Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life
  • Student counseling service
  • Office of diversity affairs, including the women*s center and LGBTQ* services
  • Student health services
  • Student wellness
  • Wilks Leadership Institute