Sharia Hays, Rochester University's dean of students and Title IX coordinator, is leaving the university after a four-year stint. Here's a brief interview regarding her time at RU and her future plans at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon.
Why George Fox University?
"The desire to return home. I have always wanted to return to my alma mater GFU because it's where my student affairs career began and where so many people shaped my student experience and my professional career. I want to give back to a place that gave me so much as a student. Also, my family is two-and-a-half hours away from the campus so I will be closer to my family and friends. My Pacific Northwest roots are strong and I am excited to return back there."
How does your position here, dean of students, differ from associate dean of student life operations at your new institution?
"I will work closely with the VP of student life in managing the operations of the student life division. I will aid in managing contracts for housing, dining services, etc. I will assist with construction projects and renovations related to student spaces. I will be a key point person for student life with institutional programs. There will be a lot of similarities, but I have the ability to focus on those specific areas."
Did you achieve all you wanted during your time at RU? What excites you about your new role?
"I would say no, I didn't achieve everything, but I feel as if I did make some significant achievements with the support and hard work of the Student Life Team. As a team, you're always evaluating how we can best serve RU students and provide a meaningful student experience. I am excited about the new opportunity and new experiences, to see how GFU has changed and how I can add to the community with my experience and knowledge."
What will you miss most about RU?
Transition will always be bittersweet for me because I feel as if I am leaving people behind. I will miss the Student Life Team, the relationships I have developed over the past four years and the times I was able to engage in rich conversations with students."