By: Matthew Johnson
Gardner-Webb administration split the position of dean of students and vice president of student development both formerly held by Dr. Dee Hunt.
Hunt now acts solely as the vice president of student development. The new position withholds her to the supervision of employees in organizations that have student relations. The position was created to alleviate the workload on the dean of students in order to stay organized and manage students more effectively.
“We sat down and looked at my job description, extracted from there and put it on the dean of students description so that my load was reduced,” said Hunt.
Getting the position to split was a challenge. It took nearly two years for her to be able to convince board members to agree, though she said the decision “wasn’t tough” in her opinion.
Larger colleges have vice president of student development and dean of students as two separate positions. Splitting the positions would help Gardner-Webb administration stay on top of issues students may have on campus. It is also a better way for the council to assure trouble stays off campus.
“This move was made for students. It [is] consistent with the majority of other universities. The reason the [decision] was made was to help alleviate the nitty gritty and more serious issues students may be facing,” said Hunt.
Hunt has been an employee of Gardner-Webb University for 38 years, but has been dean of students since 2010.
She appreciates the work that Sarah Currie has done with the new role as dean of students and sees Currie fit for the position. Hunt feels administration made the best decision by choosing her for the position because of Currie’s counseling background and her nature as “a problem solver.”
“She was doing such a great job in retention. I’ve been so amazed at some of the things she can do,” Hunt said about Currie. “She responds quickly, she is available, she is there and she has never said no to me about anything.”
The positions were split to ensure that students stay happy on campus during their time at Gardner-Webb. Hunt focuses her field of work on a student-centered approach; she takes students in as her family. The change in positions has helped keep Hunt available for students who may need to be in touch with her.
“This is a great decision for the University,” she said.