By Julia Sarcinelli
Dean of Students Melinda Stoops will be leaving her position on June 16 to be the associate vice president of Student A=airs at Boston College (BC).
Lorretta Holloway, vice president for enrollment and student development, announced the news it in an email on Thursday, April 27.
She wrote Stoops “is a universal presence throughout a student’s experience at FSU, from welcoming students and families at Freshmen Orientation to saying goodbye to them at Commencement. ... While we are excited for Dean Stoops for receiving this amazing career opportunity, her presence on campus cannot be replaced. We will miss her warm smile, her thoughtful advice and, of course, her emails in our inboxes.”
Stoops’ responsibilities at BC will be to oversee five offices on campus.
Stoops has been at FSU for over 14 years. She started as the director of the Counseling Center in 2002 and has been in her current position since 2008.
She said, “I just really felt at home at Framingham since the minute I interviewed on campus. It just felt right.”
Stoops said she is going to miss her staff and working with students. “It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to everyone.”
When she started, Stoops said she thought she would move on after five years. “I think the fact that I’ve stayed here so long really speaks to how wonderful the community is. I loved being here. I’m not leaving to leave Framingham. It’s just at this point in my career, it makes sense for me to look at a position that offers me some professional advancement.”
She added, “It’s bittersweet. I feel like it’s the right decision, but that doesn’t make it an easy process.”
President F. Javier Cevallos said it is a great opportunity for Stoops, adding, “We’re going to miss her a lot on campus, and we’re going to miss a lot of her sensitivity in particular. I think she has a wonderful way of connecting to people and talking to people.”
Cevallos said the Dean of Students handles disciplinary issues and also difficult situations for students, adding to do so, “You need to have someone who can do both sides with a lot of talent and grace, and I think Melinda has been wonderful in how she handles both aspects of the job, because she does it with a lot of care.”
Cevallos said Stoops has been “an asset for our campus community. She has contributed a lot to the campus climate and to making this a great institution, and she will bring her talents and her abilities to BC and make BC a better place, as well.”
David Baldwin, associate dean of students, has worked with Stoops for nine years.
He said, “I’m going to miss her terribly. Not only did we work together, we formed this kind of friendship that is really great – although I know the friendship won’t end just because she’s going to BC, but it will be weird not to see her every day and work with her. ... She’s taught me a lot, and I’ve grown a lot in my position because of her.”
According to Holloway, there will be open forums for the students and community to attend in the fall, on top of interviews with the search committee which she hopes to have some students on, adding the new candidate will be selected around October.
Holloway said she “burst into tears” when she heard Stoops was leaving, but added, “I’m really excited for her and it’s such a great opportunity. I’m always happy when people who are gifted and talented and are good people ... get recognized in this kind of way.”
She said, “Melinda Stoops is a leader, and I don’t want to sound trite, but what a real leader does is they make people want to follow you. ... She makes people want to be their best selves.”
No current interim dean of students has been selected.