After serving as dean of Westhampton College for 12 years, Juliette Landphair moved in August to the University of Mary Washington to become its vice president for student affairs. A starter job at Richmond became a career and a passion after Landphair fell in love with the Richmond community.
When Landphair began working at Richmond In 1999, she thought she would work for WILL (Women Involved in Living and Learning) and possibly become a history professor after a few years. Before she knew it, her daughter’s graduation party was taking place at the Westhampton Deanery.
“I thought it would be a short-term gig. But, it turned into the first half of my career," Landphair said. "The people here, my colleagues, the faculty, the staff, so many stay here because it’s such a good place. They have become my family.”
Landphair's departure created a shake up in the Westhampton College Dean's Office. Kerry Fankhauser, formerly an associate dean and deputy Title IX coordinator, will serve as Westhampton College's interim dean. Molly Field (left) will serve as interim deputy Title IX coordinator during the 2015-16 academic year and President Ronald Crutcher appointed Maura Smith as Title IX coordinator and director of compliance on Aug. 1.
“[Fankhauser is] going to be fabulous," Landphair said. "She’s been here many years and she’s trusted by the students and values inclusion as demonstrated in her role in our orientation process.”
The Collegian was unable to reach Fankhauser for this story.
Fankhauser will continue her work of supporting Westhampton students as interim dean, but Field will serve as a primary contact with fellow Deputy Title IX Coordinator Dan Fabian for student concerns about sexual misconduct.
Carl Sorenson, associate vice president for human resources, was the previous Title IX coordinator. With Maura Smith’s appointment as a full-time Title IX coordinator, Sorenson will transition to the deputy Title IX coordinator role with a focus on faculty and staff concerns.
“In my role, I am looking forward to coordinating the great efforts of our Deputy Title IX Coordinators in educating our campus about sexual misconduct, monitoring our compliance with Title IX and applicable state laws, and investigating reports of sexual misconduct,” Smith said.
Richmond is one of the now over 100 colleges and universities being investigated for a Title IX violation. Landphair highlighted the benefits of Westhampton for having 11 women in the office specifically trained in preventing sexual assault and sexual misconduct.
“The federal government has started to turn their attention to this serious issue on college campuses," Landphair said. "Now the university has learned to be more victim-centered. Richmond College and Westhampton worked together to react to the government’s letter.”
Since before Landphair became dean in 2003, Richmond has worked to support victims of sexual assault and incorporating education into countless Richmond orientations.
Aside from the special environment at the University of Richmond, Landphair has incorporated her passion for Women’s studies into her position as dean.
“Dean Landphair was a strong advocate for the spirit of Westhampton College, and I think brought Westhampton into the 21st century,” Joe Boehman, dean of Richmond College, said.
“A lot of people think that women have achieved equality and that’s not true,” Landphair said. Women entering their 30s will notice a gendered gap in certain industries. College should culturally prepare women for this gap, Landphair said.
The incoming dean will also have to undertake the task of keeping the tradition of the coordinate college system modern and sustainable. “I intend to work with the next Dean of Westhampton College as a full partner in advocating for the coordinate system,” Boehman said.
“The most important part of the coordinate system, in my view, is the ability to build relationships and mentor students in a very different way than what happens at most schools,” Boehman said. The unknown, incoming dean will have to fill this role.
Landphair urges new students and current students alike to take advantage within what surrounds you on campus. In addition, “I’d tell both campuses to accept and value the relationships around you. There’s so much good that comes from being kind to others, and that’s what I hoped I have instilled within Westhampton College.”
Mary Washington chose Dr. Landphair after Douglas Searcy became president of Barton College in Wilson, N.C. “The university conducted a search with the assistance of a nationwide search firm,” Richard Finkelstein, dean of arts and sciences at Mary Washington, wrote in an email.
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