After several months of vacancy, Dr. Richard Gatteau was appointed to serve as the interim vice president for Student Affairs and Dean of Students on Jan. 23, according to an email sent out by President Samuel L. Stanley Jr.
“I love Stony Brook, love our students, love the people who work here, and it’s just the right opportunity at the right time,” Gatteau said.
Gatteau has been working in higher education and academic supervising for 25 years. He earned his master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Vermont and completed his PhD in Educational Leadership and Administration at Fordham University.
From being a hall director back when he was in graduate school, to the position that he just accepted, he said he is pleased that he took the time to move up the ladder.
“I realized that working in a college setting is what I wanted to do, especially when I decided to [pursue my] doctorate,” he said.
Gatteau said his experience working as the associate provost for Academic Success and the faculty director of the Higher Education Administration program at Stony Brook helped him to become more familiar with the school’s system.
“The goal over time is to have students self-reflect and realize that college is where you should soak up experiences and figure out what your future is,” he said.
Several of Gatteau’s colleagues and advisors have praised the administration’s decision to promote him, highlighting his dedication to bettering the campus community.
“He embodies a student first orientation, and that has never changed,” Dr. Marianna Savoca, director of the Career Center, said.
“[He is a] very strong administrator, very caring for students and staff, and committed to student success,” Dr. Charles Robbins, the vice provost for Undergraduate Education and dean of the Undergraduate Colleges, who served as the supervisor for Dr. Gatteau’s previous position, said.
Moving forward, Gatteau said he hopes to foster a stronger connection between students and the administration, and give students a greater say in making decisions for the campus community.
“I will certainly work with both Undergraduate Student Government and Graduate Student Organization closely, because they serve as the representatives of our student body,” Gatteau said.
President of the Undergraduate Student Government, Ayyan Zubair said he has high hopes for the new Dean of Students, and is looking forward to establishing a productive relationship with Gatteau.
“We’ve met before on several occasions, and we are currently coordinating a meeting,” Zubair said.
According to the fall 2017 enrollment fact book, roughly 47 percent of students commute, and the other 53 percent live on campus. There’s also 4,685 international students and 5,913 out-of-state students. Gatteau said he is determined to address the unique needs of each of these demographic groups.
“My goal is to be engaged in athletics events, build campus pride and spirit, connect with clubs and organizations on campus, and have an impact in as many pockets of the university as possible,” Gatteau said.