Belmont Associate Provost and Dean of Students Dr. Jeffery Burgin tendered his resignation Wednesday morning, according to an email sent out by Belmont Provost Dr. Thomas Burns.
“I understand that this is a critical role in the Division of Student Affairs and plays an integral part in the functionality of our community,” Burns wrote. “A national search for this position will begin soon.”
In the meantime, Burns will take over Burgin’s role overseeing the Division of Student Affairs.
Burgin declined to comment on his resignation.
Burgin’s resignation comes during an investigation by Student Affairs into at least one Belmont Greek organization.
The two events are not related, and his absence will not affect any ongoing investigations, said Burns.
“Any time there is investigation of any student organization, it always proceeds through the office of student organizations and activities,” said Burns. “They would then identify individuals to serve as investigators for those allegations. A lot of times the investigators are RDs, but not always.”
“The results of those investigations would then come back to the director of student engagement or student organizations and activities. Then they would share that with the dean of students — and I’ll be acting in that capacity.”
Burgin contributed many things to the university since his hiring in December of 2013 — like reorganizing Student Affairs and mentoring students in programs like Bridges to Belmont and Belmont’s Student Government Association.
SGA President Shania Jones worked with Burgin extensively through her position and was shocked to hear about his resignation.
“The hardest part was getting the email and being like, ‘what just happened?’ I literally lost it,” said Jones. “I feel like every year I’ve been at Belmont we’ve lost someone in that office.”
Jones is hopeful Belmont will find a suitable replacement for Burgin, but worries the new dean of students may not be involved with SGA in the same way.
“He actually went to bat on a lot of things we wanted and cared,” said Jones. “Now it’s like — will someone else give me the same guidance he did?”
Despite Jones’ sadness about the resignation, she hopes to use all he taught her as motivation to accomplish all she can.
“He said, ‘You get one year. That clock is ticking. In May it’s all over, so what do you want to accomplish before the end of the year?’” said Jones. “Now I feel like I owe it — not to myself, but to him — to get more things done, to leave my mark.”
Burns hopes to have Burgin’s position filled by the end of spring semester at the latest.