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Dean of Students Office

  • The Dean on Duty (DoD) program served an important function amid the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a heightened need for the routine functions of Dean on Duty when students, faculty, and staff didn’t know where to turn. These functions include providing care and resources for students impact by bereavement, illness, family emergencies, and other difficult life situations; connecting students to resources; responding to parent/family concerns; and clarifying policies/processes for faculty and staff. The number of emails received and responded to through the DoD program totaled 3,609 in FY21, up from 2,021 in FY20 and 1,322 in FY19. Throughout the fall and spring semesters, DoD emails were being responded to seven days/week due to time sensitivity of many of the issues.
  • Similarly, the absence notification function of the Dean of Students Office (DoS) was pivotal in managing the new need for quarantine/isolation absence notification. DoS staff partnered with Student Health Services, General Counsel’s Office, the ISU Contact Tracing unit, and the Provost’s Office to both proactively create a new communicable disease excused absence policy and then implement it amid regularly changing circumstances. Under this new policy, DoS processed 1,944 instances of excused absence due to illness during FY21. During the first several weeks of the fall 2020 semester, staff were processing absence notifications seven days/week.
  • The Students’ Attorney also experienced a heightened need for his routine services amid the pandemic, particularly related to helping students with landlord/tenant disputes. These services were adapted to be provided by phone, Zoom and email.
  • Redbird Stage Crossing, an individualized experience added to the spring 2021 commencement offerings for both 2021 and 2020 grads, provided positive public relations for the University after most graduating students missed other milestone events in their final year. Nearly 3,000 graduates participated, with one-third of them responding to a survey that included overwhelmingly positive feedback.
  • The Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) unit introduced new programs and offered a near full range of program, mostly online, with positive evaluations and near full participation.
  • Despite having vacancies in two of the three professional positions for the entire fiscal year, the Sorority and Fraternity Life (SFL) unit created a comprehensive community-wide diversity and inclusion program and contracted for recruitment consulting for all four councils to position the SFL community for success upon the return to a more normal, in-person experience.
  • Welcome Week staff pivoted on short notice and amid changing circumstances to deliver pre-fall semester welcome back programming that created a sense of activity and engagement while adhering to gathering size restrictions.
  • Active RSOs had increased use of Redbird Life’s internal RSO features and recruitment efforts through virtual involvement fairs due to the virtual nature of the academic year. Likewise, students trying to get involved had increased use of virtual involvement fairs, searching for RSOs, and attending virtual events hosted on Redbird Life.
  • Student Access and Accommodation Services (SAAS) conducted campus-wide advocacy for and implementation of live transcription, given the high use of Zoom for course delivery, and conducted a successful Hatch fundraising campaign for Universal Design.
  • The LGBTQ+ Support Fund, managed through the Dean of Students Office, received 284 gifts for a total of $34,475 in the 2021 Birds Give Back campaign.
  • Student Conduct and Community Responsibilities (SCCR) took on responsibility for off-campus housing and shifted to an online housing portal that off-loads the expense to property managers, and includes important off-campus living educational modules within the software.