UI restructures Center for Student Involvement & Leadership

The Center for Student Involvement & Leadership is splitting into three individual units.


Shivansh Ahuja

The office of the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership is seen in the IMU on Thursday, August 29, 2019.

Marissa Payne, Editor-in-Chief

The University of Iowa has taken steps to restructure the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, the campus unit that supports organizations and services catered to students, to form three individual units in hopes of fostering more leadership among students and promoting engagement in civic life.

Vice President for Student Life Melissa Shivers wrote in an email to the division’s staff in August that the center will shift from functioning under its overarching name to operating as separate offices reporting through the dean of students, a role being filled on an interim basis by Angie Reams.

Shivers told The Daily Iowan that the change aims to better serve not only student leaders who are engaged with the department, but also students who haven’t quite figured out how to get engaged in campus life.

“A part of our job is to help that community in particular define and redefine engagement in our campus,” she said.

The organizational shakeup results from a routine external program review in fiscal 2018 of the Dean of Students Office and of the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership in fiscal 2019, according to Shivers’ email. She said no staff positions were eliminated as a result of the restructuring.

The center was composed of seven key areas: Arts & Entertainment Programs, Major Annual Events, Multicultural Programs, Leadership & Service, Fraternity & Sorority Life, Services for Students, and Student Organizations. It administers services such as Student Legal Services, Student Organization Business Office, and the Office Campus Housing Service.

A Student Life webpage states the center’s mission is to “foster growth and leadership in students and their organizations by facilitating meaningful and empowering opportunities to engage and contribute within and beyond their communities.” The center’s website is now labeled as Student Engagement & Campus Programs.

Shivers’ monthly staff email said the center has split into the following offices:

Office of Leadership, Service, and Civic Engagement — led by Associate Director Paul Mintner • Student Organization Development

• Student Organization Registration and Policies


• Civic Engagement Center

• Leadership Courses

• Hawkeye Service Teams

• Hawkeye Leadership & Service Awards

Office of Student Engagement & Campus Programs — led by Associate Director Nellie Link

• Student Engagement Outreach

• Late Night Initiatives & Assessment

• Campus Activities Board

• Homecoming

• Family Weekend

• Dance Marathon

• Arts & Entertainment Programs

Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life Programs — led by an associate director whom the UI is working to hire. (Erin McHale previously held the position. She is no longer listed in the UI directory.)

• Fraternity/Sorority Life Strategic Plan

• Fraternity/Sorority Life Alcohol-Harm Reduction Initiatives

• Chapter Relations

• Alumni Relations

• International/national headquarters relations

• Campus & Community Relations

• The four governing councils

The Center for Student Involvement and Leadership units previously reported through IMU Executive Director Bill Nelson, an associate dean, Shivers said.

Another goal of the restructuring is to shift the perception of the dean of students as the “principal” who’s focused solely on issues of student conduct.

“Students need to see their dean as their advocate and their support, and to be able to go to them if they have any questions or concerns,” Shivers said. 

Reams will serve as the associate dean for Student Development & Support and provide administrative support for:

• Office of Student Accountability

• Early Intervention Team

• Threat Assessment Team

• Student Care & Assistance

• Student Legal Services

• Clinical Case Management

Nelson will serve as the associate dean for Strategic Initiatives & Operations and maintain his role with the IMU. He will oversee:


• Iowa Hawk Shop and University Bookstore

• Iowa House Hotel

• Welcome Center

• Event Services

• Campus Outdoor Space Reservations

• Political candidates and elected officials

• Facility Operations and Custodial Service

• UI Student Government and Graduate and Professional Student Government until the UI hires a permanent dean of students

This announcement comes as the UI continues to search for a permanent dean of students. Reams has temporarily filled the role since January following Lyn Redington’s departure from the position. Redington left to become the Idaho State University vice president for Student Affairs in 2017.

The UI has brought seven finalists to campus in the search for Redington’s successor. Four finalists visited in spring 2018 and the UI brought three more candidates to campus last fall, but selected none of the finalists.

These changes will be implemented over the course of the semester as the dean of students search continues, Shivers wrote.