The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Dean of Students Brian Samble abruptly departs college

Brian Samble, in his role as dean of students, implemented the college’s party registration policy. (Photo courtesy of Lafayette Communications)

Dean of Students Brian Samble “has departed the institution,” according to an email sent to The Lafayette on Jan. 12 by Sarah Moschenross, the vice president for student life. The college announced the departure in an email to the campus community four days later.

“There’s new leadership in the Division and they’ve decided to go in a different direction with my position,” Samble wrote in a text. “I enjoyed three great years serving terrific Lafayette students and working alongside all-star faculty. I look forward to continuing to be a leader in higher education and serving students in the future.”

Samble declined to comment further. Moschenross was brought on as vice president for student life in September. 

When asked about the nature of his departure or the semester spent working with him, Moschenross said that she was “unable to comment on personnel issues.”

Samble helped oversee disciplinary proceedings for students. College President Nicole Hurd confirmed that his departure is unrelated to the ongoing Department of Education investigation into Lafayette.

Jennifer Dize, the assistant dean of students, will be serving as interim dean of students until a replacement for Samble is found.

“Jen has been here for a long time and so she is deeply familiar with the institution and the systems and structures that we use to help support students,” Moschenross said. “I think she is extremely competent and is well-respected by the staff in our division, and so she is just in a perfect position to step in and support our colleagues in the division, as we sort of figure out what’s next.”

Dize said that while she is “not comfortable talking about” Samble’s departure, she is excited to engage in strategic planning within the division alongside Moschenross.

“My goal isn’t to do anything kind of out of left field, but rather to make sure that the folks who are in the roles that I’m working with are empowered to do the good work that they always do,” Dize said. “We have a group of amazing professionals in these roles and I’m excited to work with them in a new capacity, and also to get to work a little bit more closely with students, which isn’t something that my regular role has always allowed.”

Samble joined Lafayette in 2021 after working as an assistant dean at Franklin & Marshall College. At Lafayette, Samble led the push to require on-campus parties to be registered with Public Safety, helped oversee the college’s pandemic response and developed the Leopard’s Lair, a $2 million student space in the Farinon College Center basement.

The dean of students, according to Lafayette Magazine, oversees the Residence Life, Student Conduct and Religious & Spiritual Life offices and facilitates first-year orientation. Samble also acted as the advisor for Student Government and, after the resignation of the college’s student advocacy and prevention coordinator, was the interim advisor for the Peer Anti-Violence Educators. 

Moschenross said that Student Government is being supported by Vanessa Pearson, the director of student involvement, while it finds a more “long-term strategy.” 

According to Thania Hernandez ‘25, the Student Government president, members of Student Government were not given a reason for Samble’s departure, but the Division of Student Life offered support until Student Government gets a permanent advisor.

According to the Student Government constitution, the group “shall be advised by the Dean of Students or a designee of the Dean of Students.”

The search for a new student advocacy and prevention coordinator is continuing, with “some different resources in place that will be rolled out,” according to Moschenross. Until that position is filled, Dize will assume the role of advisor for the Peer Anti-Violence Educators.

Carter Siegel ’24, a coordinator for the Peer Anti-Violence Educators, declined to comment. 

According to Moschenross, there is no timeline to fill the dean of students position permanently.

“I think we are going to do some strategic planning in the Division of Student Life and we’re going to organize our staff around strategic priorities of the division,” she said. “I think that will help inform what we do with that position, if it remains the same as it has been or if it’s repurposed for other things.”

Editors note: This article was updated on Jan. 24.

Madeline Marriott ’24 and Andreas Pelekis ’26 contributed reporting.

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Trebor Maitin, Managing Editor
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  • S

    StudentJan 15, 2024 at 11:50 am

    As a current student, there are already lackings for student organizations and organizing, and consistent faculty turnover just make students entirely disbelieving of — and effectively distanced from — the college’s image of itself. It’s just sort of like, come on, students aren’t stupid; we fully see this administration for what it is.

  • C

    Class of 2016Jan 15, 2024 at 10:55 am

    I continue to be alarmed by the turnover in leadership on campus, and an ongoing shift away from active diversity, equity, and inclusion in practice vs in language… Students of all backgrounds and beliefs deserve consistent support on campus.

    • S

      Student AthleteJan 18, 2024 at 3:11 pm

      Ask any minority student athlete about his/her experience. It’s like we are only here to satisfy a diversity requirement, but we’re not brave enough to say anything for fear of retribution.

  • L

    Laf parentJan 14, 2024 at 11:32 pm

    Whomever is in charge of the dining hall food quality should be next

  • C

    Class of 2013Jan 14, 2024 at 5:10 pm

    The college seems to have gone downhill under the new administration compared to the two previous Presidents I was more familiar with. The high turnover of staff is an indication. Lacking faith in this President, and as a woman of color not planning on contributing to the college until it becomes a more inclusive environment for all students.

  • Y

    Young AlumJan 14, 2024 at 12:51 pm

    Assuming the incompetent college administration needed a scalp for their ingenious idea to characterize student activism as hate speech and open the college up to federal investigation.

  • S

    SarahJan 14, 2024 at 11:33 am

    This is so disappointing. Dean Samble was truly an advocate for students in his time at Lafayette. It’s so concerning to watch the college slowly exile the faculty and staff who genuinely care about the students and replace them with those who treat the college like a business. I am frightened for what’s to come under this new leadership who continues to talk about positive change but has yet to deliver.