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Dean of the College

Dean of the College Suzy Nelson and her division support Colgate’s living/learning goals. The division is dedicated to enhancing the student experience through the purposeful integration of the curriculum and co-curriculum.
Suzy Nelson, dean of the college

2013 Student Organization Relationship Statement

Denis Cronin, Chair of the Board of Trustees, recently provided an update from the October Board of Trustees meeting, including the Board’s approval of the 2013 Student Organization Relationship Statement, which replaces the 1991 Statement of the Relationship between Colgate University and its Greek Letter Organizations.

The 2013 Relationship statement aims to promote the following:
  • To align student organizations with the Living the Liberal Arts goals of intellectualism, personal development and wellness, civic engagement, access and inclusion, social responsibility, and a lifelong connection to Colgate;
  • To strengthen Colgate’s commitment to advising student organizations and to clarify the privileges and responsibilities for all student organizations, not just fraternities and sororities;
  • To promote greater collaboration – across student organizations and campus departments - in planning events and sharing resources; and
  • To align student organization advising with risk management guidelines that reflects current best practices.
The student, staff and faculty working group that developed the new Relationship Statement sought considerable feedback throughout this process. The 2013 statement preserves shared governance, student autonomy, and existing risk management and insurance requirements.

A list of recognized student organizations and their respective Advising Departments may be found here.

I am grateful for the working group’s efforts in completing this important project.

Best regards,

Suzy M. Nelson
Vice President and Dean of the College

Dean of the College Mission Statement

Student learning begins with a rich and varied educational experience that integrates the formal academic program with all of campus life. Colgate students will develop habits of learning that are characteristic of a residential liberal arts education and that are guided by six principles: intellectualism, citizenship, accountability, access and inclusion, personal growth and wellness, and a lifelong connection to Colgate. The Dean of the College division promotes open and civil exchange of ideas and perspectives, deepening our commitment to human understanding and to contributing to the common good. The division furthers Colgate’s educational mission through its high quality professionalism, services, and educational programs.

Statement on Diversity

The Dean of the College recognizes and appreciates the unique talents and contributions of each individual with whom we work. The division encourages ongoing diversity education and expects our staff to approach this endeavor with a sense of open-mindedness and willingness to experience the unfamiliar with respectful communication. We facilitate exploration, learning, and understanding of identity development and social justice issues, resulting in an inclusive and supportive community where each voice is heard and valued.

Guiding Principles

We will:
  • Partner with students to help them mature into successful and independent adults.  
  • Exhibit professionalism, collegiality, and a student-centered approach to our work as educators.
  • Respect and support each other, as well as the students, faculty, staff, and alumni with whom we work.
  • Collaborate and communicate effectively in furthering our shared goals.
  • Create and cultivate community within and outside of the DoC division.
  • Place a high value on continued professional growth and development as we work toward excellence.
  • Evaluate our work as a division, make adjustments as needed, and celebrate our accomplishments. 


As a residential college steeped in a liberal arts tradition that embraces a diversity of people, perspectives, and experiences, Colgate believes that student learning, while centered on the formal academic program, extends through all out-of-class experiences.

The DoC staff facilitates the development of students’ intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, and social capacities in their pursuit to become contributing citizens of a rapidly changing world.

Student Drop–in Hour

Suzy Nelson, dean of the college, and Scott Brown, dean of students, invite you to stop by during their open-door hour.

Thursdays from 3:00–4:00 p.m.
112 McGregory Hall
*(when available; please refer to online calendar)

How can we make your Colgate experience even better? What are your views on key student issues? Dean Nelson and Dean Brown are eager to hear what you have to say. Come by for a chat and a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.

Contact Michele Carney at 315-228-7425 for more information and exact dates.

Social Hosting Process Update

In response to students’ request that Colgate revise its social hosting process to allow for greater ease in gathering with friends, a committee of students, faculty and staff was convened to modify our process. Proposed changes have been shared widely in campus fora and thanks to much student input, an improved process will be implemented in fall 2013.

The new social hosting process aims to balance students’ rights with responsibilities. Further, it offers reasonable expectations for safe service of alcohol at social gatherings. Highlights of the proposed changes to the current process may be found here.

Warm regards,
Suzy M. Nelson, dean of the college

Social hosting policy and registration

Contact Information

Office of the Dean of the College and 
the Dean of Students
112 McGregory Hall
13 Oak Drive
Hamilton, NY 13346
Phone: 315-228-7425