After 19 years, Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore is leaving Boston University and becoming president of Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts. The current Senior Associate Dean of Students Jason Campbell-Foster will take over as interim dean of students in July.
Elmore, who graduated from Wheelock School of Education in 1987, began at BU managing orientation programs, campus activities, and residence operations. He was appointed to his current position in 2003.
In an interview with BU Today, Elmore said he has learned a lot from the students at BU, especially with the many different perspectives on campus.
“Students introduce you to the world — I took that for granted. All these perspectives: you have to be wide-eyed about that. They can teach you stuff. They taught me plenty about understanding human beings. That energy they have is a gift,” Elmore said.
Elmore also told BU Today he has enjoyed connecting and interacting with the students and faculty of the BU community.
“I have been a student of human beings — they always teach me something new. They are messy, but also they know how to celebrate,” Elmore said. “For me, that’s what it’s all about, this unconditional love we have to show for other human beings.”
BU spokesperson Colin Riley said Elmore has been a “wonderful” colleague and a friend to him.
After a decade and a half at Northeastern University, Campbell-Foster began at BU in 2019 as Senior Associate Dean of Students, working alongside Elmore through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When I first started in the fall of 2019, I was really able to immerse myself in this special community and Dean Elmore was a huge part of positioning me so that I could truly see the best of BU, meet the students and get in and really hit the ground running when I first started,” Campbell-Foster said.
He said he is feeling confident about taking over as Dean of Students and following in the footsteps of Elmore.
“There’s no shying away from the fact that he leaves a huge void,” Campbell-Foster said. “I believe that I can extend his legacy and build upon it and trust that he has left this organization in a very, very good place.”
Coming to BU was a “new challenge” for Campbell-Foster, but he said it’s been a fulfilling three years at BU so far.
“The way I experienced it is really the way I hope all of our students experience it when they’re new, as an incredibly welcoming community,” Campbell-Foster said. “One that really allowed for me to grow professionally in a lot of really unique, different ways.”
Campbell-Foster said he wants students to know that he brings his whole self to work and likes to be his authentic self.
“Individuals took a chance on me and gave me opportunities to do things,” he said. “I see it as my responsibility to return the favor and to continue to provide other people with opportunities to learn a lot about themselves, be surprised by who they are and what they can do. And I realized that BU is the place where they can really truly come into their own.”