New position focuses on student needs
In spring 2010 a new dean of students was appointed at UW-Eau Claire to replace former Dean of Students and newly appointed Vice Chancellor Beth Hellwig. After sifting through about 80 candidates, four applicants were considered for the position. In the end, Brian Carlisle was chosen as the new dean.
Carlisle came to UW-Eau Claire from the San Francisco Art Institute and was the dean of students at UCLA for six years before that. He graduated with his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Alabama and his juris doctor degree from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles.
He said after being in big schools and big cities he was ready for a change.
“I love being able to work closely with students, get to know them, and have a good quality of living,” he said. “It gives me the opportunity to have the best of both worlds.”
The dean of students position provides “support for a variety of student concerns, including illness, academic trouble and other personal emergencies,” according to the dean of student’s website. Among his duties, Carlisle is also the advisor for Student Senate.
“We all need to work together to have our shared Blugold experience and create an environment for student success,” he said. “By being present and advising student government groups, we can build those relationships.”
Student Body President Dylan Jambrek said Carlisle has already proven to be a good influence just within the short time he’s been on campus.
“He will definitely be a driver of change which I think we really need,” he said. “He is a very strong student advocate.”
Jambrek said Carlisle’s experience at other schools will help bring a unique perspective for the senate and the university.
Carlisle said he will work to review policies and regulations to see where they fail students and make them more flexible to reflect the changing student population.
Hellwig said Carlisle was the ideal choice for UW-Eau Claire and thinks he will be able to give students the personal attention they deserve.
“He’s got the whole picture,” she said. “He has all the experience we were looking for and he has a great rapport with the students.”
As the previous dean of students and vice chancellor, she said there were too many responsibilities held under her job title and something needed to change.
“So many students need our support,” she said. “We needed to do something different and we needed more staff to do it.”
One of Carlisle’s goals, along with Hellwig, is to develop a more obvious student spirit on campus.
“There is an amazing energy on this campus and I want to encourage it and make it infectious,” he said. “I want to establish more traditions and I want students to choose them.”
Carlisle said working with students is what he loves to do and feels that UW-Eau Claire is a great fit for him.
“I graduated college 20 years ago and have never left,” he said. “I’m always reminded that I get to witness firsthand the intellectual and personal growth of students. I can’t escape it. It’s in my title.”