Building a better BU experience
DOS office to come under president’s direction
As part of his initiative to give students an enriched, interdisciplinary experience at BU — able to take advantage of the campus and the city as well as the academic environment — President Robert A. Brown has restructured the role of the Office of the Dean of Students so that the office will report directly to the University’s president.
“Continuing the development of our student community and enhancing student life on campus will be some of our most important initiatives in the coming years,” says Brown. “The best way for me to keep engaged in student issues is to work very closely with Kenn Elmore. My hope is that this reporting structure will make Boston University an even better learning community.”
Elmore (SED’87), who first came to BU as the manager of the former student center in the George Sherman Union, worked in the Offices of Student Activities and Residence Life and served as associate director of Residence Life for 12 years before leaving the University in 2001 to practice law. He returned to become dean of students in 2003, and since then has made it a priority to be involved, accessible, and engaged in student life on campus.
“From the first day of orientation, Dean Elmore presents himself as a personable figure in the school,” says Amanda Wybolt (COM’08). “I feel like I could walk into his office and talk to him.”
Elmore says that both he and Brown see student life as a “cocurricular experience that complements the classroom experience,” and that the challenge at BU is offering programs that will help students feel connected to campus while at the same time encouraging them to take advantage of the University’s location in the city. “If you look at the curriculum of your Boston University experience,” says Elmore, “it’s got to involve the city and what happens outside of the classroom, around the campus.”
Both also hope to develop a BU community that transcends individual schools, colleges, and majors. “We are getting into more discussions about what kind of experience all BU students should have,” Elmore says.
To remain informed about student interests, Elmore makes a point of participating in a number of events and programs organized by the Community Service Center and the Student Activities Office. His own office has also created programs intended to reach out to students, such as weekly Coffee and Conversation sessions.
“I feel like Dr. Brown has a really great vision for the school, and if you combine that vision with someone like Dean Elmore, who knows what’s going to happen?” says Wybolt. “Amazing things.”