On Dec. 3, Taylor University announced in an email to faculty and staff the elimination of the Dean of Students position.
Since August 2017, Jesse Brown has served as both Dean of Students and Title IX coordinator. With the elimination of the dean role, Brown will continue to serve only as Title IX coordinator through the Spring semester.
Following May 31, Brown anticipates no longer being employed by Taylor.
“As many of you are likely aware, Student Development has been in a season of change over the last several years,” said Skip Trudeau, vice president for Student Development, in the email sent to faculty and staff. “These changes, coupled with the realignment of MAHE reporting to Student Development this fall, have created the need to reorganize the existing organizational structure to ensure we are maintaining program viability and serving our students as best we can.”
Brown was notified of the change in December as well. He told The Echo he did not anticipate the conversation or decision.
President Michael Lindsay declined to comment on the matter.
“...it is my practice, except in extraordinary circumstances, not to comment personally on areas overseen by other SLT (senior leadership team) members, instead asking them to comment as they wish,” Lindsay said in an email to The Echo.
“It is not university practice to comment about personnel situations,” Trudeau said.
Brown’s responsibilities consisted of supervising COVID-19 protocols, student conduct and the Title IX investigation process.
His duties involving student conduct have and will be allocated to existing or new faculty.
Julia Hurlow, associate vice president for Student Development and director of Residence Life, is now overseeing student conduct issues. She is serving in tandem with Trudeau and Chief of Police Jeff Wallace.
The office of Human Resources department will assume the responsibilities of Title IX coordination in the next academic year.
Brown expressed thankfulness for his time at Taylor and recognizes the impact of the university community.
“I am grateful to work alongside so many gifted colleagues in the counseling center, student development, athletics and faculty,” Brown said. “Additionally, I am grateful to journey with the many students who entered my office; many of them reluctant or apprehensive. I pray for their continued walk with Jesus… It was a privilege to serve TU for these five years.”
Brown said he and his family plan to remain living in Upland for the foreseeable future.
In addition to the changes in Brown’s current roles, several other changes to staff and faculty were announced by Student Development.
Jeff Aupperle assumed the responsibilities of the Student Development portion of the honors program and coordination of Student Development assessment efforts. Drew Moser will serve as director of Masters of Higher Education (MAHE) initiatives and coordination of graduate assistantship services; he will no longer act as dean of students of engagement. Their new titles will be associate dean for Calling and Career and director of MAHE Initiatives, respectively.
Lastly, Rex Bennett, vice president for university advancement, announced his retirement.
Bennett began working at Taylor in September 2017 after being invited by former president Lowell Haines to join his leadership team.
Bennett is the father of two Taylor graduates and believes strongly in the mission of Taylor.
“I also treasure the opportunity to work with a group of people in the Advancement Office who are so gifted, and committed to resourcing Taylor’s mission of developing servant leaders marked by a passion to minister Christ’s redemptive love and truth to a world in need,” Bennett said.