Dean of students wins influential faculty award
Arnie Slaughter was recently named the recipient of the Faculty/Staff Strongest Influence Award by NKU alumni, and he’s worked hard to achieve it.
While winning the award was certainly not his goal when starting at NKU in 2003, his close relationships with student advocacy and engagement proved him to be a worthy recipient. He credits his achievements to his “wonderful students,” and how they have helped him grow throughout the years.
Slaughter is the Assistant Vice President of Student Engagement and Dean of Students. He oversees six areas of student involvement: University Housing, Greek life, campus recreation, Office of Student Engagement, Student Union & Programming and the Student Conduct Rights & Advocacy Office.
Aside from the official duties he has, he works closely with student organizations and individual students to help “enhance the student experience for everyone.”
He also works with Student Government Association, wanting to ensure that students feel represented and to provide opportunities for students who want to get connected with campus life and the community.
He began working for University Housing in 2003 as a hall director, leaving his work at Miami University, where he also attended as a student.
“My initial interest in NKU was looking at a new opportunity after my seven years of experience at my former institution,” he said. “I wanted to give back and help students who were much like myself.”
Slaughter is a first-generation student, and said that many of the mentors he’s had in the past have encouraged him; he wanted to be able to provide that same encouragement to other students similar to himself.
“The biggest piece of advice I can provide [for first-generation students] is to encourage them that they are not alone, and to get involved in programs or organizations designed to help navigate the collegiate experience,” Slaughter said.
He recalled that as a first-year student, he was nervous about not knowing what questions to ask, and encourages students to talk to their professors about any questions they have.
He said it’s important to give back, and maintained that helping a nervous first-year can be just as impactful as going out into the community.
“Students think that we are here to give, but students give so much more to us,” he said. “I’ve had some really great experiences here; our students are resilient—they work hard, fight for what they have and they fight for their peers.”
Slaughter does not take his influence and position on campus lightly. He is a student advocate and fights for the comfort, safety and success of students from all backgrounds.
One area that Slaughter continues to impact is in the Black community on campus. He said that everyone works together to help one another get through obstacles and to celebrate successes.
The NKU R.O.C.K.S program, for example, connects first year students with mentors who help them get connected and engaged in the community. Slaughter was part of something similar during his time at Miami University.
He said it’s important for students in a predominately White institution to have peers and mentors that look like them, and have had similar experiences, to be visible amongst the student body.
“We’ve made some great efforts, but we can always strive for better,” he said. “It’s about really telling our story, getting to know our students and finding out how we can better serve and impact our students.”