I am pleased to announce that Dr. Erik Wessel will be joining the team at the Office of Student Conflict Resolution as the new Director, beginning June 29, 2015. Dr. Wessel brings to this role critical direct leadership success in student conduct and conflict management with a proven track record of delivering educational and restorative outcomes while also leading campus compliance and risk management efforts. Erik’s over ten years of service in student affairs includes a focus on and deep experience in student conduct work at small private, medium public, and large public institutions. His experience is anchored with a strong academic background and a passion for serving students.
Erik earned his doctorate at Penn State University, where he served in student conduct roles in both Residence Life and the Office of Student Conduct. As Director for the Office of Student Conduct at Ferris State University, Dr. Wessel, in close partnership with the Office of General Counsel and other key partners, facilitated institutional efforts to align with federal guidance in sexual misconduct policy while also managing the institution’s response process for student complaints of sexual misconduct as the primary investigator under the Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
Erik brings to OSCR his experience as a Chief Conduct Officer and his frontline work in critical incident response as the core member of the University’s Behavioral Threat Review Team, Threat Assessment Team, and Sexual Assault Response Team, and the University’s Sexual Assault Taskforce. In his roles, Eric is credited with bringing a trusted “foundation” to difficult and complex campus conversations with his consistent investment in researching best practices, understanding the legal boundaries, all while honoring student development theory.
Under Erik’s leadership, seeking to improve access and move toward a more educational model, FSU’s Office of Student Conduct has completely revised student conduct procedures, implemented assessment strategies and revised training for staff and community partners. As the Director, Erik has focused on investing in partnerships resulting in increased efforts in bystander intervention education, alcohol and drug awareness and sexual violence prevention.
Dr. Wessel also brings a faculty lens to his role, having taught courses on legal issues in student affairs and student advising and counseling in higher education at Penn State and Geneva College.
I would like to express my appreciation to the many institutional partners that engaged with the director search process, including the OSCR staff team and their various partnering units and colleagues in Student Life, Central Student Government, the Office for Institutional Equity, the Division of Public Safety and Security, Office of the Vice President and General Counsel, and OSCR’s team of faculty and student arbiters, mediators and panel volunteers.
Also, thank you to the members of the search committee: John Lin (CSG/Student), Dr. Marita Inglehart (Faculty, School of Dentistry), Darren Nealy (Director of Student Services, Law School), Holly Rider-Milkovich (Director, SAPAC), Stacy Vander Velde (Associate Director, OSCR) and Chair Jennifer Meyer Schrage (Director, International Center).
Please feel free to share this announcement, and join me in welcoming Erik to campus next month!