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Cedric Rucker to remain as interim dean of students through the next academic year

Rucker assumed the position in February following the departure of former Dean Robyn Hadley

<p>Rucker is the third person to serve as dean of students since Allen Groves <a href="https://www.cavalierdaily.com/article/2021/05/dean-of-students-allen-groves-departs-from-u-va-after-more-than-14-years?fb_comment_id=3924653090917511_3926308754085278"><u>left</u></a> the University in 2021 after 14 years in the role.</p>

Rucker is the third person to serve as dean of students since Allen Groves left the University in 2021 after 14 years in the role.

Kenyon Bonner, newly appointed vice president and chief student affairs officer, announced that Cedric Rucker, interim senior associate vice president and dean of students, will remain in his position through the 2024-25 academic year. Bonner, who started his position as VPSA Jan. 16, said that Rucker’s continued presence will allow him to better understand students' needs and inform the University’s national search for a permanent dean of students. 

Rucker took on the position of interim dean of students in Fall 2023 after a long career as associate dean of student activities at the University of Mary Washington. Rucker had previously earned a master’s degree in sociology at the University and returned in 2022 to serve as a senior associate dean in the Office of African-American Affairs. 

In an October interview with The Cavalier Daily, Rucker said that he was involved in the talent acquisition process for a permanent dean of students and vice president of student affairs. Though Rucker identified success in his position as finding a permanent dean, he said that he still needs to remain focused on the task at hand. 

“I think it would be difficult to be at a place like the University of Virginia and not do it all in,” Rucker said. “I tell people all the time that I am looking forward to working with the transition that's in place, but I can't sit on my hands and just wait for the next leadership group.”

The Office of Student Affairs has faced high turnover rates in recent years. Rucker replaced Robyn Hadley, who served as both dean of students and vice president for student affairs for two years. Rucker is the third person to serve as dean of students since Allen Groves left the University in 2021 after 14 years in the role.

Many universities across the country have reported significant trouble in the recruitment process for administrative staff. Several of these schools have seen significant turnover in top positions, including president, provost and other executive roles. J.J. Davis, executive vice president and chief operating officer, called the struggle to recruit and retain talented faculty a “war on talent” during a September 2022 Board of Visitors meeting. 

According to Bonner, the search for a new dean of students will begin in the fall.

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