Future dean of students prioritizes excellence at Iowa State

Vernon Hurte was named the new dean of students in early January. 

Vernon Hurte was named the new dean of students in early January. 

Emily Hammer

From four candidates, Vernon Hurte was named the dean of students and associate vice president of student affairs in an early January statement.

Hurte will assume his position in early July and work primarily in the dean of students office. He will still report to the office of the senior vice president of student affairs.

At his current position of assistant to the vice president, senior associate dean of students and director of the Center for Student Diversity at the College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, Hurte said he does many of the same things he will do at Iowa State.

When deciding whether to apply for the position, Hurte was impressed with the sense of community and diversity that already existed.

“The institution already has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion,” Hurte said. “As I look at Iowa State’s commitment to inclusion, my hope is to bring leadership [to] help us take our efforts even farther.”

Before his interview, Hurte had never even stepped on campus. But in his eyes, Iowa State’s office of student affairs is one of the best in the country, which was enough to apply without visiting first.

When he flew out, Hurte was pleasantly surprised to find that he enjoyed the environment and the people on campus.

“I was impressed with the students and the staff, the campus,” he said. “People took the time to speak and chat it up a little bit and that felt really familiar.”

The first item of business for Hurte is to get to know people, especially students. What originally drove him to student affairs was his love for engaging and working with students to find their passions and talents.

His work with students at Iowa State will be no different.

“I want to spend time with students and find out how they feel about the campus,” he said. “I want all students from all backgrounds to feel that sense of belonging.”

Ultimately, Hurte wants his legacy to be remembered as a student-centered dean who was committed to helping students excel.

“I hope people will get to know me and feel the energy and passion I have for the campus and work,” he said. “I’m excited to be a Cyclone, and my family is excited to make the transition to Iowa State.”