After 15 years spent working as “your Dean of Students,” Dean Matthew Burns will be stepping down from his position in June. 

“I probably should be more worried about it, but I’m not,” said Dean Burns in an interview with the Campus Times. “In order to understand my decision, which is a personal, professional decision […] 15 years is a long time—not just for me, but for an institution to have the same Dean of Students. I think there is value in having change in leadership. As much as I’ve enjoyed it, and I hope the students have enjoyed me, I want to leave the position I wanted my whole life on my own terms, and I want to pass the torch while it’s still burning instead of letting it burn down to embers.”

Burns has worked in higher education for a total of 30 years, holding positions in Residential Life as well as being a Judicial Officer and Associate Dean of Students here at the University. He first assumed the position of Acting Dean of Students in 2007, succeeding former Dean of Students Jody Asbury.

Burns mentioned some of his proudest contributions to the campus community were the creation of the Rochester Center for Community Leadership and the structuring of the Student Life Awards.

When asked about his plans post-UR, the Dean expressed an interest in exploring and embracing new venues of life. 

“Now, it’s really funny—I think of some of our seniors that I ask, ‘What are you going to do after graduation?’ and they’re like, ‘I don’t know.’ I’m in that same position now, where I have to ask myself what I want to do when I grow up.”



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