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Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs

The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (OVPSA) is responsible for creating frameworks, policies, and processes that are used by all departments in the division to deliver an innovative and transformative experience for our undergraduate students.  In addition, OVPSA staff ensures that divisional initiatives continue to extend learning outside-of-the-classroom and create a sense of connection and belonging for every undergraduate student.  

Staff members

J. Andrew Shepardson Ph.D. -- Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Jessica Kenerson -- Director of Strategic Planning/Chief of Staff

Benjamin Longstreth -- Assistant Director of Strategic Projects, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

Divisional Strategic Initiatives


Students can get the most out of their Bentley experience by strategically developing their competencies and learning how to market themselves to future employers

Racial Justice

The Division of Student Affairs prioritizes anti-racist efforts and is taking intentional, comprehensive steps to advocate for racial justice.

COVID-19 Response

The Division of Student Affairs has been critical partners in the institutional return-to-campus efforts.

Bentley NEST

By assigning every undergraduate student to a NEST cohort with a staff leader, we provide a personalized approach to the hybrid-learning environment.

Racial Justice

Join the Division of Student Affairs in centering Racial Justice as a priority for our community. It's Time for Change: Racial Justice at Bentley, is a five month, action-oriented campaign. Each month will focus on a different theme and community members who take the pledge will receive weekly activities and resources to better equip them with the knowledge and skillsets to advocate for anti-racism. The list of months and themes are below:

  • February - Reflection
  • March - Learning
  • April - Action
  • May - Community
  • June - Vigilance  

Pledge your commitment to making Bentley a more anti-Racist community below!

"We cannot just talk about diversity, equity and inclusion--we have to live it. This starts with stating unequivocally that Black Lives Matter, and acknowledging that we all have a long way to go and a lot of work to do. Living these ideas means finding ways to improve the world and communities in which we live, and that includes Bentley. To the Black students in our community, please know that I hear you, I see you and I am committed to doing the work to make this a better place for all."
J. Andrew Shepardson, Ph.D.

The Division of Student Affairs prioritizes anti-racist efforts and is taking several action steps to advocate for racial justice. Among these are:  

  • Every department in the division, along with the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs has created a Racial Justice Action Plan. You can find all of the action plans here.
  • Every month, we host a Community Conversation where we provide education and opportunities for dialogue around an aspect of racial justice.
  • Staff in the Division of Student Affairs have a divisional meeting twice a month. We provide racial justice educational workshops at every division meeting.
  • We have created a new paid student position called "Student Equity and Inclusion Consultants." This is a group of students who undergo training and consult on divisional and departmental projects and processes to ensure that diverse perspectives are included in decision-making.
  • Our division is currently reviewing all student leader trainings and providing a standard, theory-based training on racial justice for all student leaders.
  • We have developed a new program called "Flex Dialogues" (rooted in tenants of Intergroup Dialogue) where student groups can request to have a dialogue on a topic related to equity and inclusion with trained facilitators.

COVID-19 Response

The Division of Student Affairs has been critical partners in the institutional return-to-campus efforts.  In addition to daily meetings with divisional leadership, many members of Student Affairs are on the Return-to-Campus Task Force, which has ensured that we are using an intentional and collaborative approach as we address the challenges and opportunities presented to us as we return to an operational on-campus experience for staff, faculty, and students.

Every department in the division has been affected by COVID-19 in innumerable ways.  Below is a snapshot of how divisional areas have pivoted during the public health crisis:


  • Developed and executed a return-to-play document to ensure compliance with the NCAA and the safety of our 500+ student-athletes
  • Continued regular outreach to student-athletes to ensure that they were connected and engaged throughout remote and hybrid environments

Health, Counseling, and Wellness

  • Created and managed the screening test site that conducted 45,000+ tests between mid-August and mid-November
  • Managed clinical care and follow up for COVID positive student cases


  • Increased the number of engagement opportunities (318 total with over 40 being in-person) for students from the same time last fall
  • Managed student organization membership to keep students involved from anywhere in the world (906 active executive board members this fall with general members being part of an average of two organizations this term)

Residential Center, Care, and Conduct

  • Managed the housing inventory to be in compliance with state guidelines as well as changes with assignments throughout the isolation and quarantine moves
  • Communicated with students and families through contact tracing efforts and isolation and quarantine support

Student Equity and Inclusion

  • Communicated with international students as guidelines continue to evolve and impact their ability to remain in the country because of COVID concerns
  • Transitioned programs online to support marginalized students with hybrid access and connection to campus

University Police

  • Supported the quarantine and isolation process by transporting students to another residential assignment and delivering care packages
  • Partnered with Athletics and Student Programs & Engagement to support off campus residents comply with state guidance