Since Oct. 18, the dean of campus life position in the Division of Student Affairs has been vacant. Laura Kane, who came to Kenyon in 2015, previously held the position. In recent months, Vice President for Student Affairs Celestino Limas has worked with the input of students and staff to reorganize the division.
In an email to students and employees, Limas wrote that the dean of campus life will continue to be responsible for the Offices of Student Engagement and Residential Life, but the title of the job will now be dean of students. This position, which also oversees the Office of Strategic Endeavors, will remain vacant as the College begins its search for a candidate this spring.
Besides this restructuring, two additions to the division will start their roles this March: new Director of Residential Life Leah Reuber, currently associate director of residence life at Grinnell College, and new Associate Director of Housing and Operations Joshua Kusch, currently the director of residence life at Mount Vernon Nazarene University.
Robin Hart Ruthenbeck, who previously served as the dean of campus life, will now be the dean of student development. She was previously responsible for overseeing the Cox Health and Counseling Center and its employees, as well as religious life on campus. As dean of student development, Ruthenbeck will no longer manage the Cox Center, but will continue to manage religious life on campus. In an email to the Collegian, Limas said that Ruthenbeck will take on “new things” for the College, but did not further specify what that might entail. “She will, of course, continue to be a direct reporter to me and a strong leader on campus,” he wrote.
Kenyon has also promoted two employees in the division. First, former Director of the Cox Health and Counseling Center Chris Smith will now be Senior Director of Wellness. “In this expanded role, he will be able to devote energy to the wellness priorities in the new strategic plan and he will welcome a new Associate Director for Health Promotion to campus in the coming weeks,” Limas said in his email. In a separate email to the Collegian, Limas explained that Smith will work with Limas to “realize the wellness goals” in the College’s new strategic plan. Smith will continue with his former responsibilities and now report directly to Limas instead of Ruthenbeck.
Second, former Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities James Jackson will now be senior director of campus life. “In this role, he will continue to oversee the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities and will partner with me on other efforts across the division,” Limas said. Students should expect more announcements like this as Limas continues to fill out the division.