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DSU hears from second dean of students candidate

The second of three candidates for Dickinson State University’s new vice president of student affairs spoke at a public forum Friday before a group of students, staff and alumni.

Brent Marsh is the vice president of student life and dean of students at Howard Payne University, a private, 1,200-student Christian school in Brownwood, Texas.

He discussed the topic “Student affairs as it relates to student success, retention and campus community.”

Noting the university’s focus on student retention, he emphasized working to connect students to the institution, both in and out of the classroom.

“It’s a topic of conversation — helping students hopefully to fall more and more in love with this place that they can’t imagine themselves leaving,” he said. “So I think anything that we can do to help students get connected with this place, even if it wasn’t their first choice in colleges, the more we can help them get connected the better off we’ll be and the better experience they’re going to have.”

University officials hope to have the vice president of student affairs position hired by the beginning of the school year, DSU Director of Communications Mark Billing said. University President D.C. Coston will make the final decision.

The final candidate — Daniel Kittle, the assistant to the president for strategic initiatives at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, — will speak at a final forum Monday.