Dean of College students Kenneth Elmore Leaving BU to Change into President of Dean Faculty | BU Immediately

Kenneth Elmore (Wheelock’87), who has served as BU’s Dean of College students since 2003, is leaving to turn into president of Dean Faculty in Franklin, Mass. He’ll assume his new function July 1. Photographs by Kalman Zabarsky, Cydney Scott, and Kristyn Ulanday

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Whether or not leaping into the Charles River or comforting a grieving household, he’s been the face of BU for the scholar physique for 20 years

Along with his signature bow ties, his boundless power and broad smile, and an unwavering devotion to the scholar expertise at Boston College—from celebratory to unhappy—Kenneth Elmore, affiliate provost and dean of scholars, has been BU’s most seen campus chief for almost 20 years.

Now Elmore (Wheelock’87) is leaving to turn into president of Dean Faculty, a small non-public faculty with 1,200 undergraduate college students in Franklin, Mass., about an hour southwest of BU. Beginning July 1, he’ll exchange Paula Rooney, who’s leaving Dean Faculty after 27 years as president and who just lately noticed a scholar hub renamed in her honor—the Dr. Paula M. Rooney Pupil Middle.

Jason Campbell-Foster, BU’s senior affiliate dean of scholars, will function interim dean throughout the search to interchange Elmore.

Elmore was appointed to his function at BU in 2003, after managing Orientation packages, campus actions, and residence operations. As dean of scholars, he has been on the entrance strains of probably the most thrilling and momentous traditions for the College’s 30,000-plus college students, from the nervousness at Orientation to the pomp and circumstance of Matriculation to the excessive spirits and celebration at Senior Breakfast. However in his function, Elmore has additionally been the general public face and voice for the scholar physique when unhappiness, tragedy, or disgruntlement has blanketed campus—the primary individual to consolation a grieving household after a scholar’s dying, the goal of scholar ire when a campus determine, determination, or occasion comes beneath assault.

Via all of it, Elmore by no means appeared to lose the bounce in his step, reveling within the power of the scholar expertise and connecting with Terriers on the platforms the place they spend probably the most time (like with this Spotify playlist he created).

“I actually received to witness this vary of what human beings are about,” Elmore tells BU Immediately in an interview this week. “I’ve been a scholar of human beings—they at all times train me one thing new. They’re messy, but in addition they know find out how to rejoice. For me, that’s what it’s all about, this unconditional love now we have to point out for different human beings.”

Picture by Kristyn Ulanday

BU President Robert A. Brown calls Elmore “a rare dean of scholars who has served in extraordinary occasions,” lifting the College by way of the aftermath of 9/11, the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, and particular person tragedies inside the BU neighborhood. “He has labored tirelessly to make scholar life on our city campus fulfilling, energetic, and secure,” Brown says. “And he has been the inspiring and entertaining orchestrator of our Orientation packages and different occasions on campus.” 

Brown additionally acknowledges considered one of Elmore’s many style quirks: “Kenn has earned the chance to steer an establishment, and he’ll carry to Dean Faculty his power, his nice empathy for younger individuals, and his penchant for distinctive footwear.”

Jean Morrison, BU provost and chief educational officer, says that Elmore has achieved extra for BU than signify scholar voices and pursuits. “He has been an essential voice in our efforts on variety, fairness and inclusion, free speech, and the significance of voting,” Morrison says. “I’m delighted for Kenn in his new management function, however we are going to miss him.”

In 2019, he was amongst 17 professors and directors nationwide named Pillars of the Occupation by the Nationwide Affiliation of Pupil Personnel Directors. Brown had this to say about Elmore in his nominating letter: “With verve and panache, he leads our summer season orientation periods. Mother and father and college students alike rave concerning the spirit generated in these periods at the same time as a lot sensible data is conveyed. When there’s a scholar demonstration, he leads from the entrance strains.”

One of many hardest moments in his tenure as dean of scholars got here when BU scholar Lu Lingzi (GRS’13) was amongst three individuals killed within the Boston Marathon bombings, which injured tons of of others. As grief enveloped the campus, Elmore helped orchestrate tributes and companies to Lingzi, together with a BU community-wide competitors for runners to compete within the 2014 Marathon in her honor.

“That was so tough,” Elmore displays. “I noticed it as an assault on younger individuals and youth. We misplaced a scholar, however we additionally misplaced a lot extra. We had volunteers who had been college students, school, and workers members on the market, too, and so they misplaced one thing. They misplaced their edge, their will, and we needed to cope with that. I’ll always remember that. I nonetheless keep in mind it day-to-day, minute by minute.”

Elmore, whose mother and father grew up within the segregated South, has typically talked about how essential attending faculty was in his household. He says he feels lucky that his power and rhythm jibe so nicely with at the moment’s college students.

“They arrive from everywhere in the world, from totally different views,” he says. “College students introduce you to the world—I took that as a right. All these views: it’s a must to be wide-eyed about that. They will train you stuff. They taught me lots about understanding human beings. That power they’ve is a present.”

And he acknowledges the hardships of his function, most just lately, when Shiney James, BU’s director of Orientation, resigned following an investigation into her conduct with scholar staff. “The personnel challenges—that is nonetheless a office,” he says. “You must cope with the office points that come up, the way in which individuals run their lives.”

He additionally talks about how social media has had an growing function on campus, serving to each unify a campus but in addition to create divisiveness. One other problem, he provides, remains to be ongoing: “COVID has been the largest problem of anybody’s profession.”

However he prefers, he says, to consider BU’s most honored traditions which have introduced him immense pleasure 12 months after 12 months, particularly the College’s annual Matriculation and Graduation ceremonies. “These are unforgettable: some extent of pleasure to have the ability to see my workers coming collectively for college students who’re beginning their careers right here.”

As for his subsequent chapter, Elmore says that he and his spouse, Abby Borodach Elmore (CAS’86) (they met whereas learning at BU within the Nineteen Eighties), whose two kids are each grown, will transfer from Brookline to Franklin this summer season. 

And he’s honored to observe within the footsteps of Rooney. “She had such a gradual hand at Dean Faculty,” he says. “It’s such an excellent place. It piqued my curiosity a lot, and I’m simply enthusiastic about becoming a member of a brand new neighborhood and a neighborhood of individuals now we have to assist get to the subsequent degree.”

Mark Boyce, the chair of the Dean Faculty Board of Trustees, describes Elmore as a “a dynamic, considerate, and visionary chief, whose values, imaginative and prescient, and dedication to scholar success align with Dean’s mission.

“We’re assured that he’ll do an amazing job as president and are extraordinarily excited for him to start his tenure.”  

Photographs by Cydney Scott, Chitose Suzuki, and Kalman Zabarsky

Photographs by Cydney Scott

Photographs by Kelly Davidson, Cydney Scott, and Jacob Chang-Rascle (COM’22)

Photographs by Kristyn Ulanday and Cydney Scott

Picture by Maddie Malhotra (COM’19)

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