Like most professionals in the higher education field, Bill Fox never imagined his ultimate dream job would be becoming a dean of students.
“I have not yet met anyone who grew up knowing they wanted to be a dean of students,” recalled Fox.
After serving in a variety of student life dean roles over the course of the past 15 years at Denison University, Fox was recently appointed as the vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Antioch College, a small liberal arts college in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
Fox is a 2020 graduate of the Doctor of Education (EdD) program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education.
“I was thrilled to get the call from President Jane Fernandes about the appointment,” says Fox. “I have worked in higher education for more than 20 years and long aspired to serve in such a role because there is so much potential to influence the total campus experience and student learning. I feel such a sense of responsibility for doing good work alongside the dedicated faculty and staff on campus and am looking forward to getting to know the remarkable student body and the committed alumni.”
Fox credits his time in the Pitt Education EdD program for preparing him to take on this new role. He benefited from the program’s diverse classroom environment, the ability to expand his network, and the collaborative nature of his cohort.
“We really challenged ourselves to know more than what we currently know, to go deep and truly hear the perspective emerging from our different lived experiences, and to be curious about one another's work,” says Fox. “I feel more prepared to be an adaptive leader who will apply improvement science in addressing equity and justice — and I know this background will serve me at Antioch.”
Fox’s EdD dissertation focused on how higher education leaders can build healthier academic communities.
“I benefited from a close relationship with my adviser and doctoral committee,” says Fox. “I felt affirmed and also challenged in ways that were necessary as I developed more confidence in my scholarly work.”
As Fox joins the leadership team at Antioch, he is looking forward to being an agent of change and to encouraging full engagement with community life and its focus on experiential education to his students, just as Pitt’s EdD program did for him.
“Down the road, I want my students to be able to point to a special sense of community that was part of the reason for their success and how that shared Antioch experience propelled them forward in their life's work,” says Fox.
The Doctor of Education (EdD) program at the Pitt School of Education is currently accepting applications.
Read more about Bill’s scholarship about well-being strategy and leadership, and his appointment at Antioch here: https://antiochcollege.edu/interview-with-bill-fox/