The University of Alaska Southeast has appointed Nathan Bodenstadt as the new Dean of Students.
Located on the Juneau campus but also serving UAS Sitka and Ketchikan campuses, the Dean of Students oversees a variety of departments, including Residence Life, the Recreation Center, Counseling, the Health Clinic, Student Activities, and the Native and Rural Student Center. The Dean of Students is also part of the CARE Team, which helps students in crisis.
For more than a decade, Bodenstadt has held administrative jobs at UAS, most recently Director of Residence Life. But overseeing a management budget of about $2.2 million as well as serving all three UAS campuses, the scope of the Dean of Students is bigger than any of his past roles. The DOS also enforces the Student Code of Conduct, but Bodenstadt said it is not a focal point of the job.
Dean of Students has been a long term professional goal for him, and he thinks it’s a good place to see student interests come to fruition. This position allows him to interact more with students.
“I feel like I am in the right place to see how things work across departments, and be able to look at ways to improve processes, or be collaborative in improving student experience,” Bodenstadt said.
He described himself as a “policy person,” because policies and codes can have a big impact on people.
“My hope is that we’re engaging in continual improvement on those kinds of things to make the student experience better, and make sure students understand their rights and responsibilities,” he said.
To accommodate all UAS students, Bodenstadt wants to visit Ketchikan and Sitka campuses and develop an in-person relationship with their staff. He is working to bring staff from those campuses onto the CARE team.
He hopes professors will put information on the Dean of Students into their syllabi, and encourages people to get to know him.
His new position is a stressful role that comes with a lot of responsibility. Bodenstadt is the fourth person to hold the job since 2009. He said a variety of factors have contributed to increased turnover in recent years, including changes in the labor force, the COVID-19 pandemic, and personal reasons for leaving the job. Bodenstadt wants to hold the position for as long as he can.
“I’m really invested in the University, and I plan to be here for much longer,” he said.
The Dean of Students office is located in the lower Mourant building, and Bodenstadt wants students to know he makes great cookies.
by Lucas Stewart, Staff Writer, UAS Whalesong