Dean of Students Dione Somerville bids farewell to ISU

Dione Somerville, former dean of students, is leaving Iowa State June 30 to become vice president for student affars at Bloomsburg University of Pensylvania. Photo: Lyn Bryant/Iowa State Daily

Ted Sics

Dean of Students Dione Somerville recently accepted a position as the vice president of student affairs at Pennsylvania’s Bloomsburg University, The end of her four-and-a-half-year term of employment with ISU is imminent. 

Somerville will begin her new job in late July.

“It’s a good time for me, personally and professionally. It’s a great opportunity,” Somerville said.

Somerville also applied to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. However, while making reference to her two middle school-aged children, she insists that Bloomsburg is “the best for me, best for my family.” 

Somerville was born in Detroit, Mo. She studied English as an undergraduate at Ohio Northern University. She then earned a master’s degree in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University and a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.

In addition to her extensive academic credentials, Somerville has experience in student service at two-year and four-year colleges.

“Prior to this I was the director of enrollment services at Lorain County Community College [in Elyria, Ohio],” Somerville said.

She held similar positions at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland and Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio.

Iowa State is a good place to be a dean, Somerville said.

“The student affairs department at Iowa State has a really good reputation, and when the position became available I was very interested,” Somerville said.

Under Somerville’s direction, the dean of students office revised Iowa State’s sexual misconduct policy, renovated the Sloss House and the State Gym, secured a new government grant for the Student Support Services Program and expanded (among other things) the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender program.

Somerville also worked as the advisor for both the finance committee and the executive branch of the Government of the Student Body.

 Somerville said Iowa State’s best feature is its student body.

“The students here are very conscientious, very value-centered, and just a great group to work with. They’re passionate about things they believe in. It’s been really good to work with the students here,” Somerville said.

Somerville’s successor has not yet been named. Nor has an interim dean.