Sue O’Driscoll, a member of the Shenandoah University Division of Student Life since 2011, has been named dean of students. Since joining the university, O’Driscoll has served as director of residence life and student conduct.
“I am excited about this opportunity,” said O’Driscoll. “I have had tremendous support from other campus departments and a hardworking staff that has helped transform the work of residence life and student conduct to encompass so much more than when I arrived at Shenandoah. From caring for students in crisis to providing advocacy and support services, and teaching skills to assist students develop as leaders, I am able to connect with students every day. I am honored to serve in a role that can help a student feel supported in their success at Shenandoah.”
Since arriving at Shenandoah, O’Driscoll has worked hard to develop and expand many aspects of the Division of Student Life related to student conduct and behavior, Title IX response and campus housing opportunities.
“When Sue joined our division in 2011, she hit the ground running and has developed and implemented a great number of new policies, procedures and initiatives to help us serve our students better,” said Vice President for Student Life The Rev. Rhonda VanDyke Colby, D.Min. “There is no doubt in my mind that Sue will continue to put our students first each and every day, and use her new role to make a difference in their lives.”
O’Driscoll revised student conduct policies and procedures to be consistent, transparent, educational and principled. Through her leadership, the focus of conduct moved from punitive responses to student learning rooted in mission-based standards and expectations for a new campus culture.
She developed a Community Conduct Council wherein students hear conduct cases to uphold standards for character and conduct among students. Staff members are also now trained in the practice of restorative justice in order to build a stronger community by helping students acknowledge, take responsibility for, and repair harm.
During her time at Shenandoah she also created the university’s Behavioral Consultation Team (BCT), which collaborates with academic leaders and support resources across campus to track concerns about student attendance, academic performance, at-risk conduct, etc. The BCT utilizes a student of concern reporting process implemented by O’Driscoll and deploys dozens of professionals in early intervention for students in need. In response to changing federal expectations for Title IX response at institutions of higher education, O’Driscoll has also deepened her own skills in Title IX matters and expanded professional staff competency in this area.
O’Driscoll always listens to student comments about housing and utilizes focus groups and surveys to better understand student needs. In times of unexpected renovation, O’Driscoll advocated for students and managed expectations and multiple moves for students in order to insure the best living and learning environment possible.
This fall, the university will open the first two buildings of The Village, an apartment complex for exemplary upper-level students. The project marks the first new construction of residence halls since 1983. When both buildings are online, the university will serve more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate residential students, up 23 percent from when O’Driscoll began her tenure at the university.
Prior to joining Shenandoah, O’Driscoll served as director of residential life and judicial affairs at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Virginia; director of student activities at State University of New York at New Paltz; and assistant director of student activities at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. She also served in multiple roles in the Office of Residential Life during her time at Iona.
O’Driscoll holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, and a Master of Arts degree in mass communications from Iona. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Professional Studies degree in organizational leadership at Shenandoah.