New role announced for Dean Terhune

In an email sent to students on February 10 by President David A. Greene, it was announced that this spring Jim Terhune will conclude his tenth year as Colby’s Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at the end of this academic year.

In that role, Terhune has overseen  the staff, departments, and programs that comprise the Division of Student Affairs, which includes Advising Deans, Campus Life (residential education, housing, leadership programs, outdoor education, and student activities), Counseling Services, Student Health Services, International Student programs, the Pugh Center and Multicultural Affairs, Religious and Spiritual Life, and Student Conduct and Discipline.

In the words of Greene, Terhune’s role as Dean of Students has helped students “have the resources they need to thrive personally and academically.” The Student Affairs staff provides instruction, advice, and support to help students become critical thinkers, effective communicators, ethical leaders, engaged citizens, and creators of knowledge with broad exposure to and understanding of human difference and diversity.

As Dean of Students, Terhune has helped establish the advising dean program and the Bias Incident Prevention and Response (BIPR) group, introduced a First Generation to College program, expanded counseling services, and created the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, the Office of Campus Life, and the Gender and Sexual Diversity Program.
According to Greene’s email, Terhune “led efforts to ensure that students from traditionally underrepresented groups were well-supported” on the Hill. He advocated for the creation of three crucial positions centered on diversity: Associate Dean and Director of the Pugh Center, Associate Director of the Pugh Center/Director of Gender and Sexual Diversity, and Assistant Director of the Pugh Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

Terhune’s contributions, as described by Greene, are “broad and far-reaching,” but many have centered on “reimagining and improving the College’s programs for student success.” This success was thought to start right from student orientation, which Terhune made more well-rounded. Terhune’s changes to orientation included adding faculty and an academic aspect, introducing a civic engagement component for all incoming first-year students, and expanding the program options to make the experience more accessible.

In an interview, Terhune described his new role: “[President Greene’s] vision for me is to be able to focus attention on helping to facilitate projects going forward.” Terhune noted that, at this point, he knows that one of his first projects will be to work on the “planning and execution of the new athletic facilities.”

Terhune received an B.A. in English from Middlebury College and conducted his graduate work at Harvard University where he earned an Ed.M. in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy. He began his career in higher education at Middlebury where he worked in student activities and the Dean of Students Office and part-time as the varsity diving coach.  Prior to his tenure at Colby, he worked for 15 years at Colgate University in a number of leadership roles including Director of Student Activities, Dean of First-Year Students, Associate Dean of the College, and Dean of Student Affairs.

Terhune will stay on to oversee a number of high-priority projects, but on July 1, 2016, he will formally transition to the position of Vice President for Strategic Initiatives.