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Skidmore College

Skidmore names new dean of students, VP for student affairs

June 9, 2021

Adrian Bautista, a proven and highly experienced leader in all areas of student affairs in a liberal arts college setting — from strategic planning and fiscal management to diverse and inclusive student engagement and support — has been selected as Skidmore College’s next dean of students and vice president for student affairs.  

Adrian BautistaBautista will serve as a key member of the President’s Cabinet, oversee seven direct reports and about 100 divisional staff, and work in close collaboration with the entire College leadership team and in partnership with faculty, staff, and students to cultivate student achievement, responsibility, and leadership in an environment that is committed to academic excellence and the development of the whole person. He will also help lead Skidmore’s efforts to support a diverse and engaged student population as the College transitions to a post-COVID-19 world, and help foster discussions on social justice, mental health, inclusivity, and respect for the views of others. 

Bautista has served as assistant vice president of student life at Oberlin College in Ohio since March 2017, coordinating a review and reimagining of its new student orientation program, expediting the division’s development of a mission, goals, and key performance indicators, and expanding emergency fund support for students, among other achievements. 

Previously, as Oberlin’s associate dean of campus life from 2004 to 2016, Bautista provided oversight for student conduct, served as a class dean, and functioned as an inaugural coordinator of the division’s Student Help And Resource Exchange (SHARE) early alert system. As director of residential education, he facilitated the implementation of a residential curriculum and the college’s first Latinx residence hall. Other roles he held at Oberlin College include interim director of its Bonner Scholars Program and community coordinator in its Multicultural Resource Center. 

Bautista has more than two decades of teaching experience and an extensive record of service to college and community organizations alike. Holding a teaching appointment in the Comparative American Studies Department and First Year Seminar Program, he has taught a Latinx Oral History course, collaborating with the local historical society and faith-based organizations, as well as a class on artist/entertainer Prince. 

“Adrian is a caring professional who brings many years of student affairs experience to Skidmore College,” said Joseph DiChristina, current vice president for student success and enrollment management at Trinity College, who worked alongside Bautista as former associate dean at Oberlin College. “The community will benefit from his thoughtful and respectful approach when working with students and when implementing strategic ideas to affect the living and learning environment at Skidmore. His presence and leadership will be felt immediately.” 

Bautista holds a Ph.D. in American culture studies, with a concentration in ethnicity, gender, and social identities, from Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in Ohio. He also holds a Master of Arts (higher education administration) and a Bachelor of Arts (history/ethnic studies) from BGSU. 

“Adrian’s exceptional commitment to supporting all aspects of student development and success and a multifaceted liberal arts educational mission made him a standout choice for Skidmore,” said Skidmore President Marc C. Conner. “We very much look forward to welcoming him to our campus community.” 

Selected from a strong field of candidates in a highly competitive, national search led by Storbeck Search, Bautista will begin in his new role at Skidmore on Aug. 16. 

"I am incredibly honored and excited to join the Skidmore community,” said Bautista. “Skidmore’s commitment to creativity, diversity and inclusion, interdisciplinary learning, and community engagement line up with my experiences, values, and vision. I am eager to arrive on campus in August to start working with our remarkably dedicated and talented faculty, staff, and students to build on the dynamic learning experience at Skidmore."

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