A Dean for
For IU Bloomington Dean of Students Harold Goldsmith, BA’68, EdD’75, each day brings a new challenge.
“My job is one with endless variety,” he notes. “I never know quite what my day is going to be like.”
One day his office might be working with faculty members on student academic performance. Or he might be creating a new program to counsel the student body on the dangers of drug and alcohol consumption. Or his office might be helping a student arrange a leave while she tends to a sick family member.
But on any day, Goldsmith says, he is grateful to have IU parents on his side. “The Parents Fund is how we can try out new things,” says Goldsmith. “And that’s a very special thing at IU.”
Goldsmith’s interest in student services began after he graduated from IU. He had returned from one year of military service in Vietnam and was studying international relations at American University. He also had a job as a residential assistant. “I found I liked my job more than I liked my studies,” he admits.
So Goldsmith returned to IU to pursue a doctorate in higher education administration. His doctoral committee was headed up by Dr. Robert L. Shaffer, who happened to be IUB dean of students. Shaffer had also been dean when Goldsmith was an undergraduate in the tumultuous 1960s, when campuses nationwide were marked by student activism and unrest.
“The Parents Fund is how we try out new things ... and that’s a very special thing at IU.” –Dean Goldsmith
“Dr. Shaffer was an advocate for the right of students to express themselves,” notes Goldsmith. “And he was always gracious with the student body. Even when students would become angry with a decision he made, he remained gracious.”
When the opportunity presented itself to take the dean of students’ job at IU later in life, Goldsmith jumped at the chance. “To be able to sit in Dr. Shaffer’s chair and follow in his footsteps—that was a big attraction,” he says.
Today, campus life can be just as complex as it was in Shaffer’s day. It is important to be able to evolve with the times and institute new programs. “Right now we are experimenting with bystander intervention,” he notes. “The idea is to give students the tools and words they need to intervene if they see a fellow student involved in something dangerous.”
If the program shows promise, it could become another of the many services Goldsmith’s office offers. Many programs, such as 24-hour on-call physicians, or late-night ride services for students from anywhere on campus to home, have come to pass thanks to Parents Fund help.
And the Parents Fund has helped students enhance their educations. Goldsmith notes the increasing popularity of internships in higher education today. “In many fields, the company or institution offering the internship doesn’t provide compensation for the student,” Goldsmith says. “Yet these internships can be in expensive places to live, like New York or Los Angeles.”
Through the Parents Fund, Goldsmith has been able to provide grants to cover living expenses as IU students take advantage of these opportunities. “Without that funding, we wouldn’t have been able to help these students.”
With assistance from the Parents Fund, Goldsmith can continue to augment the IU student experience with programs that touch on education, safety, leadership training, student advocacy, and more. A gift to the Parents Fund means IU sons and daughters will have a richer college experience.
For more information on the Parents Fund, contact Dave Spencer, Director, Parent Giving, at email@example.com or 812-855-4569.