Dean John Stein to be new VP of Student Life

Photo by Brenda Lin

Effective Aug. 1, Dean of Students John Stein will assume the role of Vice President of Student Life.

Following Dr. Bill Schafer’s departure from Tech in February, Stein served as the Dean of Students and interim Vice President for Student Affairs simultaneously. He will retain his position as Dean of Students, but will now also preside over the newly named Division of Student Life.

“I was invited by President Peterson to serve as the Interim Vice President/Dean of Students back in February when Dr. Schafer left Georgia Tech,” Stein said. “Since that time, I was asked to consider staying on in the permanent role. After much thought and reflection, I decided to accept the invitation to be appointed permanently. I am humbled, honored and excited to be serving in this role.”

According to Stein, the most important responsibilities in the position will involve advocating for every student at Tech as well as the Division of Student Life during his time serving on the President of Tech’s Cabinet. To this end, Stein says that his approach will be very similar to that which he utilized during his tenure as Dean of Students.

“I will be meeting and listening to students to understand their needs and concerns,” said Stein. “I will also be meeting with students and student groups to further understand the ‘student experience’ at Georgia Tech.”

As the Vice President of Student Life, Stein will be in charge of serving Tech’s approximately 21,000 students. The Division of Student Life hosts professional staff in a variety of areas, including the Office of the Dean of Students, Office of the Arts, Counseling Center and Office of Leadership Education and Development, which allows for the exchange of information about many subgroups of individuals on campus.

“The more I know, the better I will be able to relate to others what students think and feel about their GT experience,” Stein said. “I will also continue to collaborate with faculty and staff on important campus life initiatives. One of my specific professional interest has always been college mental health. It is important that students have the support and services needed to deal with the stress that comes with being a student at a highly competitive Institution like Tech.”

One of Stein’s initial objectives in his new role revolves around widening the student understanding of the Division of Student Life’s purpose and function on campus. Faculty, staff, students and parents should all be aware of the Division’s mission, according to Stein.

Stein also intends to ensure that students are receiving all possible opportunities that they require in order to prepare them for life after graduation. He believes that this will be accomplished by working with student leadership as well as promoting diversity and cultural awareness. Offering chances for students to become active members of the community, both on and off of Tech campus, will be key in order to allow them to gain important insight about themselves as well as others, according to Stein.

Another of Stein’s points of emphasis for students revolves around making them feel comfortable contacting him at any time.

“Please do not hesitate to contact me via email or by scheduling an appointment to come in and talk,” Stein said.

Stein believes that increased communication with the student body will spread understanding of the specific ways in which the Division of Student Life supports students during their time at Tech.

“I … want students to know that we appreciate all their hard work and efforts to make Tech a great place to live and study,” Steinv said. “I also want students to trust that our policies and processes are fair and student-centered. Finally, it is important to me that students feel there are places on campus where they can do for support and to be heard.”

Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson emphasized that Stein has been effective in the position of Dean of Students in the past and that he will be able to capably administer the Division of Student Life.

“[Stein] listens to students and is known for his positive, proactive advocacy,” Peterson said. “His ability to understand and appreciate Georgia Tech and its students will serve him well as he infuses that commitment throughout the Division of Student Life.”

The name change from the former Division of Student Affairs to the “Division of Student Life” comes as a tangible result from a visioning project in conjunction with Tech’s Office of Strategic Consulting.

“The visioning project offers the division a blueprint for the future,” Stein said. “It also reaffirmed the good work and value of the staff in the division. We will use the report to plan the future as we collectively set priorities for our work with students.”

According to Stein, the alteration will help to better define the function and role of the Division on campus.