There have been several recent organizational changes made to the University of Indianapolis Division of Student and Campus Affairs, according to an email sent by the Office of Student Affairs on Jan. 25. The roles of university staff Jessica Ward, Rev. Arionne Yvette Lynch, Robbie Williford and Steven Freck have been adjusted.
According to Freck, his previous title was the Associate Dean of Students and is now the Senior Associate Dean of Student Life and Leadership. Freck said that his new role is very similar to what it was before.
“Some additional responsibilities were added in terms of student support and things like that, but my main areas of focus are still very much focused on developing the student experience,” Freck said.
Freck said that if a student worked with him on something before, he is still the person to be in-touch with. He said that his role will not look much different from a student-facing perspective and that the changes are more behind-the-scenes.
“We’ve had some turnover in our area over the past year, just with people leaving for various reasons. I think it
was an opportunity for us to look at what made sense for the university to make sure that all the areas that need to be addressed are getting the attention they need. So I think that’s why people’s titles changed,” Freck said.
According to Ward, her previous title was the Senior Associate Dean of Students and Title IX Coordinator and is now the Associate Vice President/Dean of Students and Title IX Coordinator. Ward said that she is in charge of the oversight of Residence Life, all student conduct and Title IX.
Ward also said that her role is similar to her previous one. She said she now works more closely with student involvement on campus. Ward said she also works alongside the Office of Human Resources, other various departments and other deans at the school. As for the impact of the changes of student affairs titles on students, she said the effects will be minimal.
“I think it gives us a little bit more ability to reach out and help students kind of across divisions, because students usually, if they need something, they’re coming to either me, or Steven Freck or Robbie who’s over ResLife,” Ward said. “So students are already funneling to us. It just gives us the ability to be able to reach a little farther to help them. But I think day-to-day students aren’t going to see a difference. They still know what I do. Students are still going to come to me regardless of what my title is, [it is] the same thing with [Freck]. So as far as the day-to-day stuff, it doesn’t change anything.”
According to Freck, the Office of Student Affairs is a great place for any student or family member of a student to go and that everyone should feel welcome to reach out to anyone in the department. He said the office is here to serve students to the best of their abilities and recent changes set them up to better do so.
“We’re always looking for student input,” Freck said. “So if students have something that they want to see changed, if they want a particular program, if they’re nervous about something that’s happening on campus, we want to partner with students, so they should feel comfortable coming and talking with us.”
According to the email from the Office of Student Affairs, Williford now serves as the Director of Residence Life and Rev. Lynch now serves as University Chaplain & Director of the Lantz Center/EIP. The university also appointed Matt Gray as the Student Affairs Logistics Coordinator and Technical Specialist. Gray is returning to the University of Indianapolis as he was previously a Residence Director and Assistant Director of Residence Life. The Office of Student Affairs remains under the leadership of Amber Smith, Vice President of Student Experience, Success and Belonging.