After serving in an interim role since July, Heather White will become UF’s new Dean of Students and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs in January.
White became the Interim Dean of Students after the resignation of Jen Day Shaw in late May. UF decided not to renew Shaw’s appointment after learning she provided a positive reference for a former UF employee who was fired for using his work computer to purchase pornography, according to Alligator archives.
White will be paid $180,000, UF spokesperson Janine Sikes wrote in an email. White was considered among a pool of more than 100 applicants who applied through Spelman Johnson, a firm conducting the search. Sikes said the firm narrowed the pool down to ten applicants, and four finalists were invited for an on-campus interview.
Sikes said in the time White served as the Interim Dean of Students, she realigned the department’s budget and organization and secured more than $600,000 of the Capital Improvement Trust Fund to expand the Hitchcock Field and Fork Pantry.
“Our office will be focused on envisioning and looking at the direction of the Dean of Students office for the future, what’s needed to best serve students,” White said. “We have to make sure we evaluate where we are now and how that’s going to lead us into the future.”
White said one of the biggest initiatives she’ll be working on is reconstructing the student medical withdrawal process, where students take time off for medical reasons. She said they will be moving the process to an online platform.
“It’s easier for students to navigate if ever having to submit an application or petition for medical withdrawal,” White said. “It will also be easier for medical providers and faculty and staff in that process.”
White has been working at UF for 14 years and was previously the director of the Career Resource Center, she said. She said she developed a new framework for the office to work with academic partners across campus for students to have more career support.
White said the university-wide initiatives she led and support for students she provided as the director of the Career Resource Center are similar to the Dean of Students’ work.
“I think the length of time I’ve been on campus, the knowledge of the University of Florida and being able to work at a state level on these initiatives, in addition to those relationships on campus, are what sets me apart,” she said.
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