Vice Provost for Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole will step down at the end of the fall term after six years in the role and plans to return to Oregon, where she grew up and spent several years as a as a university administrator.
Dean Jenny Martinez has named C. Matthew Snipp as interim vice provost once Brubaker-Cole resigns. Snipp, a professor of sociology at Stanford since 1996, currently serves as vice provost for faculty development, diversity and engagement and is a resident scholar at Murray House. A search committee for Brubaker-Cole’s successor will be formed.
“The greatest joy of my career at Stanford has been working with my colleagues at VPSA on behalf of students. Their commitment to empowering students to grow and develop to their full potential is unparalleled,” Brubaker-Cole said. “I am honored to have served in this leadership capacity and am extremely proud of everything we have accomplished over these six-plus years. Their empathy and compassion for the challenges students face today is their greatest strength. I know they have what it takes to continue to meet the challenges of our world and advance the many projects underway, ensuring that our students thrive in their lives at Stanford and preparing them to lead their communities and their profession all their lives.
The Vice Provost Division for Student Affairs includes the University Registrar, Office of the Dean of Students, Vaden Health Services, Residential Education, Office of Alumni Life, Stanford Career Education, Student Organizations and Greek Life, Bechtel International Center, Classrooms and Student Technology, Students. Financial Services, Centers for Equity, Community and Leadership and many other areas of student services.
“I am so grateful to Susie for her deep dedication to students and to the student experience at Stanford. She has led efforts on many important issues, such as student mental health and well-being, and has also shown such grace in leading her phenomenal team through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic. We all owe her a debt of gratitude for her hard work, and for the expertise, empathy and kindness with which she accomplished this work,” Martinez said. “I am also extremely grateful to Professor Matthew Snipp for his willingness to serve as interim vice-provost. Matt is famous for his care and concern for students, both as a longtime faculty member and as a resident. He is also an experienced university leader and I know he will ensure a smooth transition as we search for a permanent replacement.
“Our most important work”
Brubaker-Cole came to Stanford in 2000, serving as the university’s associate vice provost for undergraduate teaching and undergraduate research. In this role, she led the expansion of undergraduate research opportunities through departmental and faculty grants, and led the university’s development of an academic director-advisory model. She also worked as a resident in a first-year and second-year residence hall, directing residential programs and student staff development.
Brubaker-Cole then returned to her home state of Oregon. There, she served as Oregon State University’s associate director for academic success and engagement and led OSU’s division of student affairs before returning to Stanford as vice provost for student affairs in 2017.
Over the years, she maintained a deep connection to Oregon, particularly to Ashland, where her first job as a teenager was distributing programs at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
As Stanford’s vice provost for student affairs, Brubaker-Cole’s work focused on six key areas reflecting the most critical issues facing the student community, commonly referred to as “Our most important work.” These include community and belonging, equity and inclusion, mental health and well-being, inner order, academic support, and integrative learning.
Under his leadership, the university expanded access to counseling and psychological services and introduced a teletherapy pilot, culminating this fall in a model that allows each student up to 12 free therapy sessions, accessible from anywhere in the United States. And in September 2020, Student Affairs launched the Wellness Communications Initiative, which includes “The Flourish,” a publication featuring articles and resources on key monthly health and wellness topics , as well as in-person events to support student mental health and well-being.
She led efforts to increase professional staff and resources available through the university’s Centers for Equity, Community and Leadership, increase support for undocumented students, and launch a pilot community space for students with disabilities.
During the global COVID-19 pandemic, Brubaker-Cole played a leadership role in student care as a member of the university’s policy committee, supporting the creation and implementation of related protocols and policies to COVID. At a time when most undergraduates were studying from home, she shared videos from campus while walking her dog to both provide updates on her health and give students at home a sense of continuity. connection with the campus.
Over the years, Brubaker-Cole was a regular at several Stanford traditions, participating in the Band Run each year and, for the past two years, donning sequins to perform at the university’s beloved Dragfest.
An advocate for studying and solving campus problems by joining the efforts of students, faculty and staff, she created several committees and task forces, including the Committee of 12, which led to the task force on Academic Integrity, the Disability Task Force, and the current Ward. Intervention force. And most recently, she led Student Affairs’ social life revitalization efforts post-pandemic, including expanded student access to free event spaces, increased funding for neighborhood programming, and new cultural and social programming at Bechtel International Center.