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reed magazine logoSummer 2008

New Dean of Students Appointed

Jerlena Griffin-Desta

Jerlena Griffin-Desta is joining Reed this fall as vice president and dean of student services. She comes to Reed with more than 20 years of experience in student services at both liberal arts colleges and large public universities. For the past 10 years, she has been executive director of student development at UC Berkeley, where she supervised the residential living programs for more than 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students and oversaw new student services, academic support services, and family programs.

Griffin-Desta, who has been a leader in strategic planning, program development, coalition building, equity and inclusion development, services to targeted populations, and crisis management, says she was attracted to Reed for its dedication to sustaining the highest intellectual standards. “I have always admired and respected Reed for its unwavering commitment to both intellectual inquiry and student governance,” she said. “I look forward to partnering with students, staff, and faculty in helping to move Reed toward even greater pre-eminence.”

A Georgia native, Griffin-Desta earned a B.A. in communication studies from Mercer University in 1983. In May, she completed an M.A. at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education, and anticipates completing a Ph.D. in the school’s program on policy, organization, measurement, and evaluation in 2009.

Griffin-Desta replaces Mary Catherine King, who retired in December 2007. President Colin Diver expressed his excitement for Griffin-Desta’s arrival and his gratitude to interim vice president and dean of student services Barre Stoll in a letter to the Reed community. “Barre will hand over to Jerlena a student services program that is, if anything, even stronger than the one she inherited,” Diver said.

reed magazine logoSummer 2008