Taking ResEd in ‘some different directions,’ Student Affairs VP announces ResEd Dean’s departure

July 26, 2018, 1:37 p.m.

Vice Provost for Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole informed Residential Education (ResEd) staff members that associate vice provost and dean of ResEd Deborah Golder will leave her position.

“As I consider what is needed for our best future and as the ResX Task Force continues, I will be taking Residential Education in some different directions,” Brubaker-Cole wrote in an email to staff. A screenshot of the email was posted on a Reddit page Wednesday evening, but has since been removed as of early afternoon on Thursday.

The ResX Task Force, convened by Provost Persis Drell as part of the long-range planning process, aims to use student input to modify the undergraduate residential experience. ResX will examine the ideal housing configurations, staffing structures and governance structures, according to Brubaker-Cole.

ResEd Associate Dean Koren Bakkegard will serve as interim associate vice provost and dean of ResEd until Brubaker-Cole finds a permanent hire.

“We have a tremendously talented and committed staff across ResEd, and I have every confidence that they will continue doing a great job on behalf of Stanford students during this transitional period,” Brubaker-Cole wrote in an email to The Daily.

A former Student Affairs employee made an original post on the Stanford subreddit page regarding the decision on Wednesday. They claim to have received the information through acquaintances at ResEd.

“Nobody knew this was coming, including her temporary replacement who was told to expect to be in that role for at least six months,” the former employee wrote in a statement to The Daily. “Many people feel as though they can’t trust Susie Brubaker-Cole now, because if she can fire the Dean of ResEd, how can they feel secure?”

The former employee stated that their ResEd acquaintances have not received information about the reasons for Golder’s departure.

“[Golder] was a fantastic leader for ResEd and she was always open, honest and available,” they said.

Despite the general sentiment on the Reddit thread that Golder was fired, Brubaker-Cole did not offer information on the nature of Golder’s departure, and spoke highly of Golder’s work.

“[Golder] has been a respected leader who has advanced the interests of students across all of the operations of Residential Education,” Brubaker-Cole wrote in her statement to The Daily.

Golder’s departure comes on the heels of a class-action lawsuit filed against Stanford claiming Stanford’s practices and policies surrounding leaves of absence discriminate against those with mental health disabilities. Multiple Residential Education employees are named in the case.

Golder has served as dean of ResEd since Jan. 5, 2009. She worked under former vice provost for student affairs Greg Boardman until August 2017, when Brubaker-Cole joined Student Affairs following Boardman’s retirement.

The Daily has reached out to Golder and Bakkegard for comment.

This story will be updated as more details come to light.


Contact Julia Ingram at jmingram ‘at’ stanford.edu and Sean Chen at kxsean ‘at’ stanford.edu. 

Julia Ingram ’21 was The Daily's Volume 256 editor-in-chief. She is a New York City native majoring in English literature and working toward a career in news reporting. Contact her at jingram ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.Despite having only a high school diploma, Sean Chen nonetheless strives to write about what is interesting and/or necessary. He hails from Shanghai, China, and therefore possesses plenty of experience with bureaucracy and thoughtful language.

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