Northwestern taps Duke official for next dean of students

Patrick Svitek, Online Managing Editor

Todd Adams, the outgoing senior associate dean of Duke University, has been named Northwestern’s next dean of students.

Adams will take up the post in February, according to an official announcement shared with The Daily by University Relations.

“This has been a lengthy search process, and I am confident Todd’s expertise will contribute to an optimal educational experience and a successful outcome for students,” Patricia Telles-Irvin, vice president for student affairs, said in the announcement.

Telles-Irvin has filled the position while the University searched for a replacement for former Dean of Students Burgwell Howard, who was appointed vice president for student engagement this summer.

Adams will be in charge of disabled student services, off-campus living, student conduct and conflict resolution, emergency response and enrollment procedures for medical withdrawal and reinstatement. He will also serve on University panels focused on the undergraduate experience, hazing prevention and responsible drinking.

Adams joined the Duke administration as assistant dean in 2000, according to the announcement. Since then, he has overseen Duke’s housing program for upperclassmen, spearheaded its Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and helped consolidate health services at the top university in Durham, N.C.

In October, Telles-Irvin laid out her expectations for the high-ranking role now waiting for Adams in Evanston.

“We’re looking for someone who has had experience … that can bring some new ideas and certainly energy and leadership,” Telles-Irvin said. “We’re looking for someone who has strong leadership skills, excellent communication skills, someone that has a good rapport with students and understanding of student behavior.”

Marshall Cohen contributed reporting.

Patrick Svitek