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image: Campus NewsInterview - Meet 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.

PHOTO:  Meet Margo Marshak.Welcome to the Second City. What attracted you to the University of Chicago?
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 rewarding.

What 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.

Today 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.


  OCTOBER 2001

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