February 25, 2013

We have a Dean of Students!?

That's ok, there's probably a lot of people in the same boat. The roles and responsibilities of senior administrators are likely not high on the priority list of many students, let along who those people are, and that's just fine.

For those of you who don't know, Dr. Frank Robinson is the current Vice-Provost and Dean of Students. He's a 3M teaching award winner and professor from Agriculture and Life Sciences; if you asked him, he might tell you he's a chicken gynecologist and researcher by training. But he's a teacher at heart and more well-known for the innovative There's-a-Heifer-in-Your-Tank program that makes inquiry-based learning for undergraduate students fun and engaging. While his administrative duties are a full-time gig, Dean Robinson insists on teaching a first-year course every year.
So, what does the Dean of Students do? Well, simply put the mandate of the Dean of Students encompasses all undergraduate and graduate students at the U of A, which keeps Dean Robinson and his office involved in most student matters outside of the classroom and many things within. It is our belief that students at the U of A will achieve their full potential through an outstanding university experience which includes co-curricular and extra-curricular experiences along with the academic. As a Vice-Provost, Dean Robinson also has responsibility for the operation of a diverse student services portfolio ranging from student health and wellness to academic skills and supports, career and placement services to residence life.

The common theme is that we want every student have an enriching, empowering experience at the U of A. Our aim is for all students at the University of Alberta to be safe, healthy, and successful.

Finally, we thought we'd share this great video (shot, edited, and scored by U of A students) profiling Dean Robinson. It's not that long, but it gives you a good sense of Dean Robinson and where some of his passion for helping students find their success comes from.