Chadron State College has taken “interim” out of the title of Dean of Student Affairs Austen Stephens, with incoming President Ron Patterson making the announcement Monday.
Stephens has been Director of Housing and Residential Life since 2015. The search for his successor will start shortly.
President Patterson, who succeeds the retiring Randy Rhine on Saturday, says Stephens has “continually demonstrated his leadership” as both the interim dean and as housing director, working well with students and doing all he can to advance priorities for him.
Stephens was named interim dean in February, taking over from Dr Tara Hart, who left after just 7 months in the position to become Assistant Director of Programs at the American Academic Leadership Institute in Washington, DC.
Her husband, CSC Dean for Professional Studies and Applied Science Dr Alaric Williams, had left Chadron State at the end of last year for a position at Minot State University in North Dakota.
Stephens is a CSC alum who played football for the Eagles and has worked at the college in housing ever since graduating in 2014. He earned his MBA in 2016 after already having been named Director of Housing.
Dr Patterson says his “wealth of experience from working across campus with various departments (makes Stephens) a great fit for our institution at this time.”
Stephens is excited to be able to continue as dean because CSC “is a great place to work” and Student Affairs lets him collaborate across campus in a variety of ways doing all he can to “ensure students have access to the services they need in order to be successful.”
Stephens is married to Chadron native and former standout CSC distance runner Ashley Riesen. They have 3 children.