Dean's Advisory Committee
In order to assist the Dean of Students in coordinating support services for students, particularly students needing attention from multiple offices on campus, Wellesley has established the Dean's Advisory Committee (the DAC). Here is information about who is part of this group, what we do, how we work, and when and how to contact us.
Who We Are:
The DAC includes the individuals in the following roles:
- Dean of Students (Debra DeMeis)
- Chief of Campus Police (Lisa Barbin)
- Director of the Health Service (Vanessa Britto)
- Director of Counseling Services (Robin Cook-Nobles)
- Associate Director of Residential and Campus Life (Don Leach)
- Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residential and Campus Life (Kris Niendorf)
- Director of Advising and Academic Support Services (John O'Keefe)
- Director of Disability Services (Jim Wice)
What We Do:
The DAC was formed to provide a mechanism for Student Life staff to work together to
- Coordinate care and decision making for students whose behavior or circumstances may significantly interfere with life in their residences, with their academic work, or with the lives or work of others in the community.
- Provide a forum for open and confidential communication about the circumstances of individual students among Student Life staff responsible for coordinating services to all students.
- Provide a mechanism for collaborative care for students that can take into account the full range of options that may be available.
- Oversee leaves of absence, including considering the need for an involuntary leave from the college for non-academic reasons, monitoring a student’s progress while on such a leave, and processing her return to the college.
How We Work:
- The DAC typically meets weekly when classes are in session.
- Members discuss student issues that have come forward from students, faculty, or staff members over the previous week and decide on the best ways to use available campus resources to address those issues.
- We try to be clear with each other about responsibilities for following up with the students or others affected, including the best ways of communicating with others and steps to take over the coming week.
- Each week, we begin by reviewing the work done since the previous meeting to address earlier problems, to assure that we are following through in the most helpful way.
- We also take up requests for clearances from some conditional leaves of absence, as those come forward from students.
- In our work, it is important to note that we take student privacy and confidentiality very seriously, as well as our need to ensure that the College is meeting its responsibility to respond to people in difficulty. Members of the health, counseling, and disability service departments in particular, since they are bound by high levels of professional responsiblity to protect confidential information, do not bring forward information about a student without having an appropriate release form from the student.
For general questions about the work of the DAC, please contact the Dean of Student's office. If you have a concern about a student and need guidance, please contact the residential life office or the class deans' office.