May 30, 2024

Dear Members of the HWS Community,

As the academic year wraps up, we write to share some exciting changes you will observe when you return in the fall that are designed to improve the student experience and enhance advising.

Over the past year, we have been thinking through how best to strengthen the web of support for students and provide even greater coordination between faculty, staff and student mentors. Last year, we introduced faculty summer advising and the First Year Mentor model to the First Year Experience to engage students more intentionally as soon as they commit to HWS. To continue to build on our integrated and intentional advising structure, we are moving to a new Deans Office advising model. For incoming first-year students moving forward, students will be assigned to a dean according to their First-Year Seminar, with four deans working as a team to support students. This model will strengthen and make more visible the advising relationship between faculty, students and their deans. Rising sophomores, juniors and seniors will remain with the current class dean model. Students should look for a follow up communication from the Office of the Hobart and William Smith Deans with additional details.

As in the past, the Office of the Hobart and William Smith Deans will assist students with academic and future planning, provide support and connection to campus resources to encourage each student’s full engagement in their college experience, and offer assistance in connecting with faculty. The deans will also oversee honor societies and academic accolades and will participate in historic traditions and celebrations such as Charter Day, Founder’s Day and Moving Up Day.

We thank Dean Scott Brophy for his service to the Hobart Dean’s Office and most especially for his work on the Hobart Bicentennial. Dean Brophy will be returning to full time teaching in the Philosophy Department. We also express gratitude to Dean Lisa Kaenzig for her decades of service to William Smith students and the William Smith Dean’s Office. Dean Kaenzig has accepted a new position as Dean of Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Director of the Centennial Center here at HWS. Her work with PLEN will continue as part of her new role at the Centennial Center. Kayla Eberhardt and Ann Marie Luce will continue their excellent work as Associate Directors of the Centennial Center.

Amy Green, who currently serves as the co-director of the Writing Colleagues Program and is a Writing and Rhetoric professor, will join the office as dean while Dean Lisa Salter steps away from her role for the next year to travel with family.

We are also grateful to Susan Pliner for her past leadership of the Centennial Center. Starting next year, she will expand her role as Associate Provost for Academic Faculty Affairs and Strategic Initiatives to include, among other areas, Dean of Graduate Studies.

To facilitate this new advising model and better integrate student support services, Smith Hall will have a new look and feel as we work to ensure our physical space is reflective of our advising and mentoring model. Starting this fall, multiple offices will be co-located to provide a hub for student support on the first floor:

  • The Hobart and William Smith Deans – Amy Green, David Mapstone, Joe Mink and Kelly Payne – will be jointly located in one office suite and will continue to be supported by Gretchen Marr and Tammy Vansickle.
  • Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students Becca Barile along with her team, including Shelle Basilio, Joshua Bishop, Sarah Mullins and Kristen Tapscott, will occupy a second suite.
  • Finally, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Bill Woodson and Nancy Cheri-Arif will move to Smith Hall as well.

As we begin our third century at HWS, we continue to bring the best of our past forward as we lean into our future, evolving in ways that will provide excellent support for our current and future students.

Best wishes for your summer. We look forward to seeing you in the fall.


Sarah Kirk
Provost and Dean of Faculty

Becca Barile
Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students

Bill Woodson
Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion