Student Involvement and Success (SIS) Update
From Donna Eddleman, Dean of Student Affairs

Systems and Structure for Support

The rebranding of SLIC (to SIS, Student Involvement and Success) reflects a division-wide effort to be more intentional and developmental in our work. The SIS team is responsible for:

  • Supporting the needs and interests of the Associated Students of the University of Redlands (ASUR)
  • Guiding and supporting the educational and social programming sponsored by ASUR and other student organizations
  • Coordinating oversight and assisting members of the Greek community through a more intentional and collaborative Partnership
  • Sponsoring student transition and support programs, to include new student orientation and transfer student programs
  • Mentoring organizational leadership
  • Cultivating an ethos of shared governance
  • Creating opportunities for skill development (leadership, for example)
  • Establishing clear lines of collaboration with alumni, as well as faculty colleagues

Our Greek organizations have, for a number of years, been guided by a Director of Greek Life, who most recently was supervised by the Director of Community Standards and Well-Being.  This alignment carried with it assumptions that were inherently unfair; those assumptions equating Greeks with “trouble” was thought to be the reason why they were aligned with Community Standards and Well-Being.  The alignment resulted after a staff member departed, and was never intended to be a long-term solution. The new structure reflects common practice, expands resources and knowledge, and lends itself to meaningful collaboration.

The departure of the Director of Greek Life created an opportunity to think differently about Greek organizations. While admittedly they are unique in many ways, they are also, in many ways, the same as other student organizations on campus. This perspective, and some valuable feedback from a national consultant who evaluated our Greek organizations, systems and practice, informed the new structure that will support student organizations broadly, and Greek Life specifically.

Greek Life support will be a shared responsibility among the three members of the SIS team that is supervised by Senior Associate Dean Dr. Ken Grcich, an alumnus of a Greek organization.

Areas of responsibility will be aligned as follows:

Sr. Associate Dean, Dr. Ken Grcich
Ken will primarily focus on alumni and member relations.  He will help cultivate and work closely with the Alumni Advisory Board.  The board will oversee communications, policies, trainings, and expectations regarding the role of Faculty and Alumni Chapter Advisor.   

Director, Erin Sanborn
Erin’s responsibility is to the governance and organization of the institution’s Greek system.  She will work closely with Greek Council advising of IFC and Panhellenic.  She will also oversee the New Member education serving as a liaison to Community Standards.

Associate Director, Alex Ries:
Alex will oversee the events and programs sponsored by Greek chapters.  His responsibility includes managing the social events proactively through training, planning, and implementing safe measures.  In addition, he has been charged to increase the community programming and philanthropic activities to showcase positive contributions the Greek system makes to the University and the Redlands community.

Assistant Director, Dan Burfeind
Dan works closely with all chapters to provide general guidance and will aim to complement the role of chapter advisor. He will also take the lead with a developing leadership curriculum for all officers.

In the short-term, they will be focused on relationship building with active Greek membership, particularly during this period of transition to new systems and practice.  Longer term, cultivating relationships with alumni as a means of support for the active members, and as a means of developing an advisory board that helps to inform what will be an evolving system of self-governance will be a priority.  This partnership is crucial to success, as is active and regular engagement between alumni and current membership. As was the case last year, in the absence of alumni participation and mentorship the viability of an organization faces significant risk.

The SIS team, Ken Grcich and Donna Eddleman will be a part of the conversation about Greek Life that is scheduled on Saturday, October 27 at 10:00 a.m.