Barbara King takes over as Dean of Students
Director of Residence Life Barbara King is now interim dean of students at The University. King transitioned from her previous role as the interim associate dean of students, to being the interim dean of students. King came to The University from Texas Christian University in 2006 to her first director position – as the director of Residence Life
As the interim associate dean, King helps to supplement the work of Anitra McShea, Ph.D. Now that she is the interim dean, the job has changed somewhat.
“[Being Interim Dean] encompasses a lot of meetings, but that is the nature of an administrator. It is very student focused, and the biggest part of this is being a student advocate. This means that I develop connections with students to build their confidence so they know that I have their best interests at heart; I will advocate for them while simultaneously holding them responsible,” King said.
In her desire to reach as many members of the student body as possible, King holds office hours every week.
“I have open office hours Fridays from 1-3 p.m., and these help me to be the best student advocate. I hope that students come by to see me and to say hi; I always have free chocolate and cookies.”
King has enjoyed the time that she has spent as Interim Dean so far.
“[Being Interim Dean] has been great. It is a really great opportunity. I feel prepared and I have lots of support. It is challenging because I’m learning a lot of new things – and that is fantastic. We’re lucky working here because learning opportunities are around us all the time. I’m constantly learning new things. I feel blessed with all these new opportunities, it’s nice to do something different. I forgot what it was like to embrace a new experience. I feel as if I have the skills, support and knowledge to do a good job,” King said.
Her previous role in Residence Life has prepared her well for this job, she says.
“I forgot what it was like to embrace a new experience. I feel like I have the skills, support and knowledge to do a good job. I’m learning a lot now in this new position. To be the best I can be, I need to know resources on campus and my previous role has enabled me to do this. I’m here to support and challenge students when they need it,” King said.
As of right now, there is no set end point for when this job will end, and King is okay with that.
“I will do this as long as I am asked to. It is a blessing and a gift to me, and I trust that The University will make the right decision [regarding the shifting positions in Student Affairs]. I will do whatever The University thinks will make the right decision. Student affairs reports to the provost, so I trust that person, in conjunction with Dr. McShea, will make the right decision. I am in no way thinking towards the future as much as I am thinking about doing the right job, right now. I want to support students and learn from this experience, however long it is. I never thought I would be here in the first place, so every day is a gift,” King said.
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