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Amy Finley named UM-Dearborn’s first dean of students

January 22, 2018

Finley, who most recently served as the university’s director of student success, will work with senior leadership to promote student interests and student development initiatives.

As the Office of Student Engagement assistant director for civic engagement, Amy Finley started the university’s Student Food Pantry so students in financially challenging situations wouldn’t go hungry. As Office of Student Success director, she oversaw a program that increased college retention rates by double digits of students from economically disadvantaged high schools.

Now Finley takes her 13-plus years of UM-Dearborn student development experience to the next level. Finley is the university’s first dean of students; her appointment began Jan. 8.

“She is already known by many on campus as a strong leader that brings a student development perspective to her work, gets things done and is a proven collaborator,” said Ray Metz, vice chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Life. “Her most recent appointment in the Office of Student Success has shown her abilities to rethink and reshape a set of services in ways that produce stronger working relationships and more importantly…results.”

Finley received her bachelor's degree from Michigan State University, a master's degree in educational leadership in student affairs from Eastern Michigan University, and a Ph.D. in higher, adult and lifelong education from MSU.

Finley said the newly created dean of students position gives higher-level focus to student development initiatives.

“The people on this campus are truly focused on connecting students to opportunities and getting students the tools they need to be successful. All offices have an important role in this,” she said. “Through this new student-focused position, we’ll work together to promote student interests at the highest level. It is really great for our students that senior leadership advocated for this.”

Finley said she’s enjoyed the partnerships and connections she’s made on campus and continues to work with faculty and staff to offer a variety of robust student experiences.

In her campus roles, Finley has collaborated with or provided leadership for the Office of Student Engagement, Office of Student Success, Women's Resource Center, Counseling and Disability Services, and Student Conduct—nearly half of the units she will be working with strategically in her role.

Finley said college is a time for students to develop leadership skills, create lifelong networks and figure out who they are. And she’s glad to be a part of that journey.

“Our students are passionate and hardworking. They are deeply committed to creating a better future for their community, for their family, for themselves,” she said. “And we, as a university, are here to support them holistically to give them what they need to become successful on their chosen paths.” 

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