Dear Harvard College Students,
I hope you are all enjoying the warm days of summer. I write to you today to share that, following a national search process, the College enthusiastically announces Katherine (Katie) O’Dair, Ph.D. has been selected as the new Dean of Students. We are very excited for Dean O’Dair to join our community in August.
Dean O’Dair brings to Harvard College an in-depth expertise in student life and the many areas the Office of Student Life (OSL) oversees. I am confident that her background and experience will serve our community well, as she works to support Harvard’s distinctive residential House system and student involvement outside the classroom. Further, I look forward to seeing her contributions to our administrations' work to integrate the academic, residential, and co-curricular spheres of students’ lives, linking out-of-classroom experiences to the mission of the College.
Prior to accepting this position, Dean O’Dair served as the associate vice president for Student Affairs at Boston College. In that role, she was responsible for supervising the engagement area, which included Counseling Services, Offices of Graduate Student Life, Health Services, The Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center, and the Women’s Center. Dean O’Dair also oversaw assessment efforts within the division of student affairs, the creation of collaborative programs with academic affairs, and diversity initiatives within the division. She also served as the student affairs Title IX coordinator.
Dean O’Dair also served as the associate dean for graduate student life at Boston College and as assistant dean in the division of student life at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, a master’s degree in student personnel and counseling from Northeastern University, and a Ph.D. in higher education from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. She is actively involved in the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and has served in leadership positions both regionally and nationally. She is a competitive master’s swimmer, avid trail runner and cyclist, and serves on the volunteer leadership team in Sturbridge for the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge (PMC).
I want to take this opportunity to thank Interim Dean of Student Life and Freshman Dean, Tom Dingman, who assumed leadership of the OSL during our spring 2016 term and to every member of the search committee and others who helped in the search process. I also want to acknowledge and thank the OSL staff who worked extremely hard to carry on the work of the Office during this interim period.
Dean O’Dair will assume her new position on August 15, 2016. Please join me in giving her a very warm welcome to our community.