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Berquam named UW-Madison dean of students

February 15, 2007 By John Lucas

Citing her unique combination of administrative skills and ability to relate to students, Chancellor John D. Wiley and Provost Patrick Farrell have selected Lori Berquam to serve as dean of students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Berquam will permanently succeed Luoluo Hong, who left the office in 2005 to take a similar position at Arizona State University. After serving as interim dean since that time, Berquam will transition into the permanent position immediately.

Berquam, who will report to Farrell, will continue to serve as UW–Madison’s chief student affairs officer. The Offices of the Dean of Students (ODOS), made up of 11 student-focused units, play an important role in promoting diversity and campus climate, providing student support and crisis services, and advocating for student leadership and engagement.

“Lori has a wonderful combination of people skills and administrative skills that allow her to work well with students, staff, parents and others,” says Farrell. “She has a vision for how ODOS can best serve our campus community.”

Adds Wiley, “Lori took over as interim dean at a time of transition and has been an exact fit for the role. I look forward to continuing to work with her in the years ahead.”

Berquam brings extensive expertise in student development, judicial affairs, housing and social-justice issues. Prior to being named interim dean, she served as associate and assistant dean of students and as an assistant director of University Housing.

She holds an undergraduate degree from Truman State University and a master’s degree from UW-La Crosse. She hopes to continue Ph.D. courses in educational leadership and policy analysis at UW–Madison.

In addition to her time at UW–Madison, she has held past residence-life positions at UW-Whitewater, UCLA and James Madison University. Berquam has lived in Madison since 1995.

Berquam says she is delighted to be able to continue the position permanently. Shedding the interim title will allow her to move forward on initiatives and projects that she began during the past 18 months, she says.

In particular, Berquam says she is looking forward to playing a greater role in the recruitment and retention of students of color and the long-term effort to increase the number and depth of connections between student life and the academic side of the university.

In the past, the Offices of the Dean of Students have been largely geared toward providing a collection of resources designed to promote student success, manage discipline or help students deal with crisis situations.

Although those programs and services will remain in place, Berquam says ODOS will move into the future by championing the broader goal of becoming the campus leader to help students realize the Wisconsin Idea.

“I want to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment for students,” she adds. “In addition to helping in crisis, I want to help students to find a passion and develop leadership and problem-solving skills that will serve them long after they leave UW–Madison.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to working with our student-life staff,” she adds. “They contribute to making UW–Madison a richer place.”

Other finalists recommended by a search-and-screen committee made up of students, faculty and academic staff included:

— Timothy Gordon, associate dean of student services and registration in the School of Continuing Studies at Northwestern University.

— Brian Rose, associate vice president for student affairs at Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey.

Berquam’s salary will be $125,000.