Binghamton University has narrowed the search for a new dean of students down to two candidates.
In December 2019, BU officials began looking to fill the vacancy in the dean of students position, and they are down to their final picks for the spot. According to the job description posted on Glassdoor.com, the dean of students will advise the vice president for student affairs and have responsibilities such as managing parent relations and leading the Town-Gown Advisory Board, a program that links the University with the local community.
The two letters of intent submitted by the candidates are available for anyone to view on BU’s student affairs website. One of the candidates is Amanda Finch, associate vice president for student development at SUNY Oneonta. The other applicant is Randall Edouard, assistant vice president for student affairs and interim dean of students at BU. For each applicant, the University hosted an open session where faculty and students could ask the candidate questions.
During his Q&A session, Edouard was asked about his past accomplishments and his work on the campus. He talked about his efforts to promote diversity on campus with the formation of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), his interactions with students and parents and his success in establishing and maintaining the Town-Gown Advisory Board for three years. Edouard also said he plans to continue to tackle issues such as mental health resources on campus if he is selected as the new dean of students.
“The biggest challenges I anticipate have to do with students,” Edouard said. “Some of them are very high. Mental health is a huge challenge for all of education throughout our country. Financial need is also a big challenge going forward because the price of education is only going up.”
Additionally, Edouard said he would focus on utilizing new technology to provide additional learning options for students.
“Now the biggest one is the increasing change in technology and its impact on learning,” Edouard said. “Twenty-five years ago, when I was a student, we took in information a lot different than students take in now. Where do we meet them in the middle? How do we best suit the new student that is coming in terms of their learning approach?”
Finch wrote in her letter of intent about her qualifications and work in higher education, writing that student success is her main focus. As associate vice president for student development at SUNY Oneonta, she wrote about her advocacy for students and her involvement with new student orientations and admission events.
Finch also has experience directly supervising departments, such as the Division of Student Development, Health & Wellness Center and Counseling Center. She wrote that she has a history of helping students and wishes to bring that to BU.
“I have an established record of actively engaging students in their learning and personal development through mentoring, training, programming, leadership development and individual intervention,” Lynch wrote. “Throughout my career in higher education I have been motivated by the opportunity to identify evolving trends in the field and reinvent what I’m doing and how I’m accomplishing my goals. It would be an honor to be able to take this next step in my career at Binghamton University.”