Dean is settling into job

Students living with their parents have someone who can relate — the new dean of students, Jeffrey Waple.

“It is very weird, being around 40,” he said, “and all the jokes running around (about living with parents).” He is currently staying with his parents in Loveland, Ohio, while his family ties up the loose ends in Clarion, Penn.

But during his first week, Northern Kentucky University is keeping its new dean plenty busy.

“It’s been hectic, (but) it’s been fun. I’m still trying to learn my way around campus,” Waple said. “I’m scheduled non-stop, probably meeting people — a lot of committees.”

Already, he’s met with the Activities Programming Board, the Student Government Association, the Staff Congress, workers on the PRISM (Process Re-engineering and Information Systems Migration) Project, all committees that report to the dean and several other individuals.

Waple, who hails from Clarion University in Pennsylvania, said just getting used to the responsibilities of the position is devouring much of his time. His staff at Clarion was very small, compared to NKU, as was its attendance. Clarion had 4,400 undergraduate students, whereas NKU boasts about three times that number.

“I’m just running, running nonstop,” he said. As soon as he leaves one meeting, he has another on his agenda. He said he wants to “get their pulse on whether areas reporting to the dean are doing well.”

He also said he conducted an exercise in his office to encourage teamwork. He had a two-hour-long conversation Sept. 5 with the Executive Board of SGA that was filled with “dialogue and honesty.”

“I really just listened to what their concerns were, offered a few suggestions,” he said. He suggested to the organization, which he is the adviser of, that “in addressing student issues, you have to have the whole picture and the whole answer.”

Nevertheless, he added that he has faced hurdles.

“There is Northern Kentucky lingo. People have abbreviations, acronyms for committees,” he said. “They say PRISM, they say PACES. What does that mean?”

Though Waple still remains optimistic and upbeat despite his seemingly stressful schedule.

“I had so many best things (my first week),” he said. “I can’t really pinpoint one, guess that’s a good thing.”