Anna Maria Dill takes the helm of new division.
By Aimee Kidrick
After 26 years of working at Eastern Oregon University, Anna Maria Dill has been appointed the first Dean of Student Success and Engagement…even if her time as Dean may be short.
She is quick to say during an interview that she is only an interim dean—being appointed to the role—but that a search is still underway. The official Dean of Student Success and Engagement has yet to be selected by faculty.
“I’m only holding a place…an ‘in-between’ place,” Dill said, noting that she could still be chosen by her peers as the official dean.
The Division of Student Success and Engagement is the result of the Learning Center and the Division of Student Affairs merging together, Dill said.
“Change is never easy, but is necessary to meet the new challenges and demands of our environment and seize new opportunities,” EOU President Bob Davies said in a letter to faculty members involving the merger.
Some of the responsibilities of the Division of Student Success and Engagement are to help lead students towards graduation, to ensure that student policies are followed and maintained, and to support student clubs and outdoor programs.
As the Interim Dean of Student Success and Engagement, Dill oversees these responsibilities and works with the President and faculty involved with other areas of the division, such as Health Services, Student Relations and the Multicultural Center.
Dill applied for the job with the advantage of having decades of experience with the university.
“I didn’t necessarily expect to get the interim role, but after I read what was expected in terms of the unit, I thought that I had some qualities I could lend to it,” Dill said. “Of the 26 years that I’ve been on campus, 20 of those years were spent not only with the Learning Center, but as part of Student Affairs, so I think I have a very good understanding of the academic and the co-curricular elements that are involved in creating this new organization.”
Dill has always enjoyed working with students, saying that college is an important time in a student’s life.
“I find students to be incredibly capable individuals. They’re balancing a lot in their lives, so they give me hope about the future,” Dill said, mentioning how managing finances and work schedules are especially stressful for students.
Whether or not Dill stays the Dean of Student Success and Engagement, she hopes to continue to help students at the university with their plans for the future.
“I want to be remembered as someone who lets students find their own way, that empowers students to find their true self, making it possible for them to find what they’re looking for,” Dill said.