Margo Marshak, VP and dean of students
On October 1 Margo Marshak became vice president and dean
of students in the University. Since 1992 Marshak had been vice
president for student affairs at New York University, where
she was responsible for student housing, dining, and residential
life; graduate and undergraduate student life and activities;
and the career services office, the music performance center,
the office for international students and scholars, and student
health and counseling services.
to the Second City. What attracted you to the University of
The University is a place of such serious purpose. The institution
itself is held in such high regard. Coming here and being interviewed
so intelligently by the faculty committee, I realized I had
to think very seriously about the position. They were people
who embodied the culture, cares, and values of the institution.
It was very compelling to encounter such a group. What
struck me about the interviews, which lasted for days, was that
it was a very intellectual process. Never did they ask me how
I run something, so much as how I think about an issue. Perhaps
from my résumé and references they knew already what I can do,
but they wanted to know how I think about what I do. They were
very concerned that I fit the culture. And I found that very
is the role of undergraduate life in a place as devoted to academic
rigor as Chicago?
The quality of student life should be a reflection of the academic
and intellectual goals of an institution. Students are whole
individuals, and the College should help articulate ways to
enhance the experience for students and to help students leave
the institution as adults who are prepared to lead full lives.
A full life may-may-involve being motivated first by
intellectual concerns, but it also must encompass knowing how
to be a part of a community, a family, an institution, knowing
what one cares about and acting on it through community service
for instance, being able to make one's way successfully in the
world in a career or a job.
in America people expect that to be the role of an institution
of higher education. Parents certainly expect that. They want
to know their child is going to receive good health care, to
be able to play their instrument or sing or participate in the
visual or performing arts. Students come from homes where those
things are valued, and they and their parents are very aggressive
about finding that at college.