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The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

UChicago Alum Philip Venticinque Named Incoming Dean of Students in the College

Venticinque, who previously worked in the Office of the Provost and earned a A.B. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, will step into the role on February 1.
Courtesy of the University of Chicago
Courtesy of the University of Chicago

Dean Melina Hale named Associate Provost Philip Venticinque as incoming dean of students in the College beginning February 1 in an email sent to the College community on January 5.

Venticinque earned a Ph.D. in Classics at UChicago in 2009. Prior to becoming Dean of Students, Venticinque was an associate professor of Classics at Cornell College. He then joined the Office of the Provost at UChicago, where he worked with Hale until her appointment as dean of the college in 2023.

“I am thankful to Dean Hale and all those involved in the search for the trust placed in me,” Venticinque said in a statement to The Maroon. “I am eager… to champion student success, to support academic and personal development, and to empower and guide students in and out of the classroom.”

“Many things about Phil impressed me as a candidate. He was a UChicago College student and Ph.D., so he has a better understanding than most of the life of students here,” Hale said in a statement to The Maroon.

According to a statement sent to The Maroon by Director of College Communications Katelyn Yoshimoto, the search for a new dean of students was conducted by a small independent committee. The committee included “members of the Dean of Students Office and the wider College community, not just senior leaders, and additional interviews with campus partners.” Candidates both internal and external to UChicago were considered, with the goal of finding a suitable appointee on a short timeline while also protecting candidates’ privacy.

Hale spoke with students in the College for several months leading up to the decision to determine what was desired in a potential appointee.

“She was looking for… someone student-centered, appreciative of the varied pressures students face today, focused on learning, growth, and creating an outstanding College experience for students in our community,” Yoshimoto’s statement said of Hale’s selection process.

Hale said she believed Venticinque’s history of working with and advocating for students, ability to find creative solutions to problems, and connection to UChicago would make him an effective dean of students.

“He has a deep historical understanding of the University and the College that is incredibly helpful in considering moving forward while honoring the wonderful character of the College and our incredible history,” Hale said.

Yoshimoto’s statement laid out various aspects of Venticinque’s new role. “The Dean of Students in the College is responsible for providing strategic vision, leadership and oversight for all aspects of student life and support services within the College,” the statement read. Departments such as the College Academic Advising Office, College Programming and Orientation, the Center for College Student Success, and the Office of College Community Standards report directly to the dean of students in the College.

Prior to Venticinque, John “Jay” Ellison held the position of dean of students in the College. During Ellison’s tenure, controversy arose over his welcome letter to the incoming class of 2020, in which he denounced trigger warnings and the creation of safe spaces. The letter found support among College Republicans and free speech absolutists but was criticized by other students and faculty. Ellison left the role in August 2023 to become a senior advisor to Hale, and the role remained vacant throughout the 2023 autumn quarter after Ellison’s departure.

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Tiffany Li
Tiffany Li, Developer
Tiffany Li is a member of the Class of 2026 after transferring from Middlebury College. She studies political science and economics and is interested in housing policy, international relations, and music. She reports for the News section of The Maroon and is on the Video and Data teams.
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    Bob Michaelson / Feb 1, 2024 at 9:08 pm

    There’s an old saying that an associate dean, provost, etc., is a mouse studying to become a rat. That was, IMO, true of Jay Ellison who went from associate dean at Harvard to dean of students at Chicago; one hopes that it isn’t true of Venticinque.

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