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Although the deans primarily deal with matters relating to a student’s academic performance and disciplinary record, the deans can also provide support for other needs the student may have.

Transitional Issues

Adjusting to life as a college student can be challenging and stressful. A new student or student returning from a term abroad may wish to speak with a dean concerning her transition to campus life. Her dean can assist with personal adjustment, meeting new academics demands, creating a new home or cultural re-entry.

Academic Advising

The deans supplement support provided by a student’s faculty advisor. Any student may schedule an appointment with her dean to consult about her academic program.

Typical topics of discussion include: graduation requirements, assistance in designing an individual major, study abroad planning, transfer credit, internships, planning for dual majors, graduate or professional school, accelerating a program of study, and making up for failed courses.

Students are encouraged to use their dean as a sounding board as they think through academic and personal goals and how best to realize them.

Academic Support

Students may request assistance with time management, study skills, academic planning, note taking, and other skills that may improve their academic achievement.

The deans also assist students who are concerned about their progress in a particular course or who need advice about the best way to approach a faculty member about a problem.

Students who are placed on academic probation are required to meet weekly with their dean.

The deans can also help students identify additional campus services, such as the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) or the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP).

Awards and Recommendations

The deans nominate students who have attained notable achievements in or out of the classroom for institutional, local, and national awards and scholarships as these opportunities arise. William Smith students may ask their dean for letters of recommendation for summer employment, graduate or professional schools, and special HWS programs.

Special Requests

A dean must be consulted about taking a voluntary withdrawal from a class, requesting an authorized withdrawal or requesting a temporary (no more than two semesters) leave of absence from the College.

Final Examination Rescheduling

Only a dean may excuse a student from her scheduled final exam or paper. Please note that a final exam may be rescheduled ONLY
in the event that a student has three exams

scheduled on the same day, a scheduled examination conflict, or an emergency. Family vacations or other personal scheduling conflicts do not qualify for an excused absence.

Emergency Loans

The office offers emergency loans to students who are in need of immediate cash on a short-term basis. The student should speak with Gretchen DeWall, who will determine whether an emergency exists, the amount to be loaned (up to $100) and a schedule for repayment. Loans have been granted to students needing funds for medical attention or prescription drugs, unexpected travel due to a family emergency, and similar matters.


Course Approval for Transfer Credit
Courses that are to be taken in transfer toward degree requirements must have prior approval for the student’s dean, and, as appropriate, the department, program, or Individual Majors Committee. Only courses passed satisfactorily, with a grade of C- (1.7) or better, are accepted for transfer credit. Course credits may be transferred but grades for those classes are never entered on a Hobart and William Smith transcript and are not calculated into a student’s GPA. Grades of transferred courses therefore have no impact on the student’s GPA at the Colleges.

Please make an appointment with your dean to discuss transfer credits.

Petition for Authorized Withdrawal
Withdrawals from any course(s) are considered by the Committee on Standards (COS) at any point in the semester prior to the submission of a course grade by the course instructor. Such withdrawals are granted only under documented exceptional circumstances which are beyond student’s control, e.g. medical.

Please make an appointment with your dean to discuss transfer credits.

Petition for Retroactive Authorized Withdrawal
Subsequent to the submission of the final grade, a grade may be changed to a withdrawal, in very extraordinary circumstances, by the Committee on Standards, acting in consultation with the student’s instructor, advisor, and dean. Approved withdrawals will be communicated immediately to the student’s advisor and instructor.

Please make an appointment with your dean to discuss a retroactive authorized withdrawal.

Submission for Course Equivalent
A course equivalent is an alternative form of educational activity which, with the approval of your faculty advisor and the Committee on Standards, may be substituted for one academic course to fulfill the normal requirement of taking four courses per semester.

Please make an appointment with your dean to discuss the options of course equivalents.

Credit Bearing Internship (INT 199) Registration Approval Form
Credit/No Credit Form
Graduate Attendee Registration Form
Individual Major Proposal
Non-Matriculated Student Application Form
Petition for Extension of Time on Incomplete Course Work
Registration Add/Drop Form


The Charter Class established the big sister/little sister program in 1910 and with it the tradition of William Smith women reaching out and supporting one another.
That tradition is continued today by a number of student organizations that help women make William Smith a vibrant and caring community. Organizations and programs that exist exclusively for the benefit of William Smith students include:

William Smith Congress (WSC)

All students of William Smith are members of Congress, which words to represent and promote women’s interests and activities on campus. Every woman is encouraged to attend the weekly meetings, which provide an opportunity for women from all classes and interest groups to gather, discuss, and act upon campus issues which they find important. Students of William Smith can attain voting status by attending three meetings. WSC is responsible for the allocation of student funds to finance organizations, activities, and projects that benefit William Smith students.

Women’s Resource Center

The Center, which is located in the basement of Miller House, is a space for William Smith women to study, meet, and relax. In addition to find a library of resources concerned with women’s issues, students who visit the center can benefit from the help of student staff members who are trained for peer counseling and crisis intervention.

The Dean’s Office also organizes programs to support William Smith students, such as:

First Generation Initiative

The First Generation Initiative was formed in 2006 to help provide first generation students – those who are one of the first members of their to attend college – with a network designed to meet their particular needs and concerns. Dean Lisa Kaenzig is the coordinator of this group, which encourages participation by students, faculty, and staff.

First Year Academic Planning

The First Year Academic Planning event is sponsored by the Hobart and William Smith Dean’s Offices in late October. This event is designed to help first year students navigate the course registration process for the spring of their first year. Deans, faculty, and upper-class students join the new first year students for a dinner and provide helpful guidance they begin to plot their academic journey at the Colleges.


The Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) is a national organization that encourages and prepares young women to become political leaders. William Smith College is a member of PLEN and is led by Dean Lisa Kaenzig who also serves as the Chair of the National Board of Directors of PLEN. This organization aims to increase the number of women in top leadership positions by exposing college women to role models and skills training needed before entering the workforce in public policy careers. For more information, please contact the William Smith Dean’s Office or one of the PLEN Ambassadors: Dominque DeRubeis or Taylor Rugg.

The Summit

The Summit is a problem solving meeting for any William Smith students who wish to join where concrete solutions to real student problems are generated and discussed. This group of students tackles campus issues that are of concern to students, including but not limited to residential, social, and academic issues.

Leadership League of Women (LLOW)

The Leadership League of Women is a partnership between the female-identifying students of Geneva High School and members of the Laurel Honors Society at William Smith College. The group is dedicated to mentorship, collaboration, and community service in the city of Geneva.