New dean to arrive Sept. 2

With the fall semester starting, the campus will be full of new faces, including Jeffery Waple’s.

But, Northern Kentucky University’s incoming dean of students said he won’t remain a stranger to students for long.

“What people are going to see is a student dean who’s visible,” he said. “The dean’s work isn’t done behind the desk.”

Waple, currently the director of campus life at Clarion University in Clarion, Penn., garnered the position after several candidates were interviewed during the summer. He will begin his tenure at NKU Sept. 2.

The first thing he plans to tackle upon arriving is getting to know students.

“I really want to spend some time building relationships with students,” he said. “(I want to) see what they think, their views of what’s happening.”

He was drawn to NKU, he said, because “it’s a great fit,” describing the school as a high-class institution.

“(Votruba) has visions for taking the university to incredible places,” he said. “It’s a growing institution; it has a lot of promise.”

He also has experience with universities suffering from low involvement rates. When he arrived at Clarion, the involvement rate hovered around 15 percent of the student body. Now, he said, it reaches up to 60 percent.

One reason for the rise, he said, was a “commuter lounge,” an area specifically focused on students who don’t live on campus.

“We went to our commuters and said ‘what do you want?'” Waple said. “We created it, we were able to hire students to work there.”

The space featured several kitchen appliances as well as lockers and a place where commuters could check in their lunches.

At Clarion, he also engaged commuters by going out into the parking lots, offering them welcome gifts, stickers and coupons.

He said he also plans to carry that attitude engagement to other student groups.

“They can’t just sit in their offices and expect (students) to come to them,” he said. “We’ve got to implore them to seek out