The Colgate Scene
July 2006

Mansfield fills key Greek-letter post

[Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko]

Tim Mansfield, director of residential life, was recently promoted to assistant dean of student affairs, director of Greek-letter operations. A graduate of Providence College with an MEd degree in guidance and counseling who has worked at Colgate since 2001, Mansfield has 11 years of experience in student development and residential life.

This new position will provide added support for the Greek-letter organizations, said President Rebecca S. Chopp. "In creating and filling this position, our goal was to appoint a seasoned administrator with the foresight and wherewithal to guide this key area of the university. And because Tim is a well-respected mentor among students, we knew that he was the perfect person to take on this role."

Mansfield will oversee day-to-day operations of the houses, as well as programming from events, recruitment, and new member education to philanthropy standards and the Panhellenic and InterFraternity councils. He also sees his role as a mediator and mentor: "I am trying to build bridges between many people who want to see this work."

In describing his philosophy of working with students, Mansfield said, "I tell them, `I'm counting on you. I want to be able to set out the map for your organizations and then back off. You're going to make some mistakes. Know that I am not far away as mentor and coach, but this is your car to drive.' My approach is, you treat people with dignity and believe that if they have the chance to learn from their mistakes, they will come back tenfold."

Mansfield will also work to strengthen support of Greek-letter organizations, both on and off campus.

"I look forward to building trust and relationships, by engaging others, including alumni, in mentoring students," he said. In addition to making new connections, he will work with members of the Fraternity and Sorority Alumni Initiative. That group will meet with students in early September about recruitment issues and what it means to be Greek at Colgate. "They are key to the overall partnership, so I am very excited to have their cooperation," he said.

And of the students themselves, Mansfield noted, "I'm seeing a new optimism among them. They say they really want to get rid of the air of tension between the administration and themselves. We are at a remarkable crossroads in Greek life at Colgate. There are still many questions to answer and some challenges to navigate together; however, I see this moment as a great opportunity to work with students differently, engage them positively, and inspire them. I love that."

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