UW-Milwaukee administrators named Timothy W. Gordon the new Dean of Students. Before being elected at UWM, Gordon was the associate dean of student and alumni services at Northwestern University in Illinois. Gordon has received numerous awards from the American College Personnel Association as well as the Illinois College Personnel Association for his outstanding achievements and contributions to higher education.
The new Dean has also published many works of writing, among them is Connecting the Freshman Year Experience Through Learning Communities: Practical Implications for Academic and Student Affairs Units, an article chronicling his experience with freshman learning communities and how they have positively impacted students.
The Post asked Mr. Gordon a few questions about his upcoming duties as the new Dean of Students.
Post: You have worked in both small school and large schools, public and private. In what ways do you think this diversity in experience gives you an advantage in being an effective Dean at UW-Milwaukee?
Gordon: I believe my time on different university campuses has helped me understand that students have different needs in different climates and at different points in their academic career. I understand that while we focus on building community we also have to focus on supporting the unique individual and their experience.
Post: What are your main goals as the Dean at UWM?
Gordon: My goal in working with students is always to assist them in developing a plan for their success. As I work to develop my long-term goals at UW-M, I look forward to meeting with students from around campus, learning from faculty and staff, and continuing to build a positive and strong student experience that supports academic success.
Post: What are some things you would like to change in regards to student life?
Gordon: I think that it will take some time for me to understand the breadth of student life at UWM but I know that I will want to be sure that students are able to have rich experiences that support their classroom learning and that build strong community with their fellow students.
I’m excited to discover what makes UW-M students and their university experience unique. I know I want to make sure students have rich experiences that support learning and that also build a strong community. I’m hoping to hear from students directly about their experiences and use that information to be a force of positive change.
Post: What are your strengths that enable you to be an effective Dean?
Gordon: I like to think I’m a good listener and that I have a strong commitment to social justice. I think I’m able to help students and professionals think about effectiveness from strategic perspective.
Post: Your LinkedIn profile notes that you have been “especially involved in efforts to develop models that focus on connecting in and out of classroom learning as well as support the wholistic development of college students.” Elaborate on this, and how it will benefit the students of Milwaukee.
Gordon: In my career it has been important to work with faculty colleagues in order to understand how student affairs can support students learning in the classroom. In particular, I believe that the Dean of Students should build relationships that allow us to intentionally build programming that helps students apply and reflect upon what they are learning and to ensure that it is deepened through the work that we do.
Post: Lastly, what excites you about working at UW-Milwaukee?
Gordon: The most exciting thing about coming to UW-Milwaukee is the ability to join a campus that is in the midst of such great transformation. The focus on innovation, being a leader in higher education in the state and country, and ability to work with a diverse student body will be an extreme privilege.