By McGill Reporter Staff
Associate Dean of Arts Andre Costopoulos has been confirmed by the Board of Governors as McGill’s new Dean of Students, Principal Heather Munroe-Blum and Provost Anthony Masi announced Thursday morning.
Costopoulos’s term will start on November 15, 2012, and end on June 30, 2016.
A member of the Department of Anthropology since 2003 and a McGill undergrad from 1988-92, Costopoulos is responsible for student affairs in the Faculty of Arts.
“It’s something I think I need to do right now,” he said in an interview. “It’s an important moment in student affairs in general in the University. We need to build and maintain communication between faculty and students and the administration.”
Reporting to the Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning), the Dean of Students is primarily responsible “for protecting student rights, fostering academic integrity, and providing impartial oversight of the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures,” said Masi in a statement to the McGill community. “In addition to continuing the redefinition of the Office of the Dean, Dr. Costopoulos will facilitate the exchange, development and dissemination of best practices in a number of priority areas: academic advising and mentoring; academic integrity and the responsible conduct of research; the ongoing revision and evolution of the Code of Student Conduct; diversity in the classroom and on campus; the integration of students from under-represented communities at McGill; and the promotion of a community centered on learning.”
Costopoulos said his work with his predecessor, Jane Everett, and his experience as an associate dean of student affairs and as a disciplinary officer “has allowed me to see where the holes are in the (code of student conduct) system and I want to ensure that the balance between student rights and responsibilities is maintained.”
Masi’s statement also thanked Linda Jacobs Starkey for serving as interim dean of students over the past few months.
“Dr. Starkey has distinguished herself as a committed and able administrator who, in her role as Associate Dean of Students and as Interim Dean in 2006-07 and in 2012, has advocated for students and has advanced their interests. She continues to provide leadership and to act as a role model for Associate Deans (Student Affairs), other student affairs professionals, and disciplinary officers in all faculties,” he said. “We are indebted to Dr. Starkey for having arranged her retirement to provide a transition period for a new Dean of Students; as planned, she will now complete her term as Associate Dean of Students, which ends on April 30, 2013. We are certain that the entire McGill community joins us in wishing her well.”
As an academic, Costopoulos’s research has focused on studying humans’ adaptation to environmental change in the North over the past 6,000 years. His fieldwork has taken him from Northern Finland to the James Bay area of Northern Quebec, and he led a major international research project during the International Polar Year.
He said he is looking forward to the new challenges the lie ahead. “We need to listen. I want to be there and listen.”