DSL realignment consolidates support resources

In an effort to improve coordination between student support resources, four existing programs will be combined into a new department under the DSL: S3, VPR, Student Disability Services (SDS), and Community Development and Substance Abuse (CDSA).

“We must strengthen the connections between residential life and student support; and we must proactively reach the students we know are more likely to need our help,” Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart PhD ’88 said in an email announcing the change on July 1.

David Randall, who will head the new department as senior associate dean for student support and wellbeing, said that bringing together student support resources would “improve collaboration and coordination” behind the scenes, but that student interactions with each of these programs would remain largely unchanged.

Students will still be able to access these resources through the same means, and the locations of the offices will not change. VPR, previously part of MIT Medical, will remain a confidential resource.

“One of my main priorities is to build trust with the students,” he said.

VPR, SDS, and CDSA will also continue to be led by Kate McCarthy, Kathleen Monagle, and Don Camelio, respectively. James Collins and Gerardo Garcia-Rios, currently assistant deans in S3, will serve as interim co-directors of that office.

The additions to DSL were announced the same day that Suzy Nelson, new vice president and dean for student life, began her term.

“The chancellor has made it clear that there is no higher priority for DSL than student wellness and support,” Nelson told MIT News. “This realignment will allow for new ideas, relationships, and connections to emerge within DSL and between DUE, ODGE, MIT Medical, and Mental Health and Counseling Service so we can serve all MIT students better.”