With the associate dean of students position left open with the resignation of Dr. Becky Spurlock, Belmont has brought the search internally.
Neil Jamerson, the current director for student conduct and academic integrity at Belmont, is one of the applicants. On Monday, he spoke about the goals he had regarding the position.
He attended the University of North Carolina in Asheville for his degree in marketing. In 2004, Jamerson went to Vanderbilt University for his master’s degree in higher education. After he went to the University of Tennessee for his doctorate in law, Jamerson was hired at Belmont.
Jamerson has worked at Belmont for three years, which he thinks makes him different from other applicants.
“I think it’s nice to be an internal candidate in some ways because you know what Belmont is about and can hit the ground running,” said Jamerson.
As both an educator and an attorney, Jamerson said that he can analyze a situation to avoid issues but still connect with students.
“I not only focus on getting the job done, but I look at the people around me. When you’re doing a job, everyone wants to accomplish something and feel they’re important,” he said.
One of Jamerson’s main focuses is building upon the community created at Belmont.
“I think this position is one of a community builder. College was a transformational time for me, and I want to facilitate that for other people,” said Jamerson.
Most of Jamerson’s ideas involved the student body, whether it is as a whole or using the representatives like Student Government Association to get students involved.
“I think the diversity of ideas is one of the great things about college,” said Jamerson.
He also wants it to be easier to students to get involved without having to gather at tables. Jamerson would like to have more activities like the pre-orientation homework that freshmen are required to complete before the year begins.
“I think you can still engage students and have there be a real voice,” said Jamerson.
Jamerson wouldn’t be content sitting in an office but would rather be a face that students recognize and can talk to, something he already aims for in his current position.
“Getting out into the campus and really being a face of the campus is important,” said Jamerson.
He also wants to look into changing the university’s Honor Code so it’s easier to understand for students to keep the integrity of the school.
During the panel, Jamerson didn’t only answer questions but also asked for the student opinion of the community, what they liked or didn’t like about it and how they would improve it.
“It’s not about how much we do, but how intentional we are in doing it,” said Jamerson. “This is your home. This is your world now.”
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