Konwerski to advance to University’s highest student life post

Dean of Students Peter Konwerski speaks during the annual Martha's Marathon housing auction in February. Konwerski will assume the title of Senior Associate Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. Hatchet File Photo

The University announced plans today to reorganize leadership for multiple departments within Student and Academic Support Services, following the retirement of the office’s long-serving vice president Robert Chernak in June.

Chernak previously oversaw areas related to student life, admissions and athletics – departments that will now report directly to Provost Steven Lerman.

Lerman said the restructuring is a part of a “natural evolution to try to integrate more functions that had previously been separated between the student affairs and academic affairs office.”

Dean of Students Peter Konwerski will assume the title of Senior Associate Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, managing “essentially the same portfolio,” Lerman said.

“Peter has been a part of the university community for many years and will continue to serve an essential role in guiding our efforts to effectively support our students in their non-academic pursuits,” Lerman said in a letter to staff.

Lerman said the “lateral” shift – which is an expansion of University President Steven Knapp’s provost model for academics – will not affect departments’ day-to-day functions for students.

Lerman also announced his office would launch a national search for a leader of GW’s new enrollment management division, an office that will integrate undergraduate and graduate admissions and financial aid. Until this position is filled, Senior Vice Provost Forrest Maltzman will oversee these areas.

Konwerski, a three-time alumnus, will oversee departments including the Center for Student Engagement, Student Health Service, University Counseling Center, the International Services Office, GW Office of Veteran Services and Office of Parent Services. Konwerski was promoted to dean of students in May 2010. He could not immediately be reached for comment.

Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion Terri Harris Reed will also see an expanded role in student affairs. In addition to advising University staff and faculty on issues related to underrepresented populations, Reed will soon oversee the Multicultural Student Services Office, Student Academic Success, Disability Support Services and the Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service. She was not immediately available for comment.

Athletic Director Patrick Nero will remain in charge of the Department of Athletics and Recreation.

Chernak, who will be leaving his post June 30 after 24 years, said shortly after announcing his retirement last month that he did not expect one person to replace him because of his unique specialties at GW.

This post was updated on April 20, 2012 to reflect the following:
The Hatchet reported that Provost Steven Lerman characterized Peter Konwerski’s move as linear. The provost said “lateral.”

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