New dean of students enhances current programs, builds new student life initiatives
HPU is filled with faculty and staff who are energized and excited to welcome students back to campus this fall. In preparation for a successful school year, 24 new faculty and dozens of new staff have been hired.

One of those new staff members is Dr. Paul Kittle, who joined the university this summer as dean of students. Kittle has worked in higher education for 18 years and has experience in numerous areas related to student affairs. Below, he explains how he and the Office of Student Life are implementing new initiatives designed to keep students engaged in all aspects of campus life.

Q: What role do you play as dean of students?

A: The dean of students serves many roles. First and foremost, my position serves as an advocate for students and works continually to ensure their health, safety, growth and development. In addition, the dean of students provides leadership within the Office of Student Life and serves as an adviser to student leaders. I regard myself as an advocate for students. As I have taken on more administrative roles, I have never lost sight of why I do this work ? the students. It is my goal to serve HPU with energy, passion, hard work and dedication.

Q: What programs set HPU apart from other universities when it comes to caring for students?

A: HPU is a learning lab unto itself. Its Peer Mentor Program provides a personal connection to HPU even before the new students arrive on campus. The design and intentionality of this program, which allows upperclassmen to serve as mentors to incoming freshmen, is distinct and expressly conveys the message that HPU is an extraordinary experience with caring people. The university's commitment to service, generosity, gratitude, fellowship and joy is not simply spoken or written words; it is intentionally demonstrated every day. You can see these values when you walk the International Promenade and read the inspirational quotes, or attend a Cuisine and Culture Series dinner where students are engaging with faculty in a relaxed atmosphere. These programs are unique to HPU and distinguish the student experience from any other institution.

Q: Are there new programs you hope to create in order to enhance the way we engage our students?

A: I have arrived at HPU at an excellent time in the student life area. With staff in place and programming initiatives identified, the challenge now is to implement the programs and assess whether or not we are achieving our intended outcomes. Areas that I believe hold great potential for our students are enhanced leadership development programs within Greek Life and Student Government Association, a new residential life programming model that will strengthen our campus community, a developing student judicial program that both educates students and ensures that honor code standards are upheld, a vibrant core curriculum and academic support center, and the Peer Mentor Program.

Q: What attracted you to HPU?

A: The campus is intentionally designed to inspire students, and all who visit, to dream big. The opportunity to be a member of a growing and talented student life team excites me. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with colleagues who are fully invested in the growth and development of our students.

Q: What experience have you gained in your career?

A: I have a bachelor's and a master's degree in business administration with a concentration in management from California University of Pennsylvania. Currently, I'm pursuing a doctorate degree in administration of higher education through Auburn University. I have gained a broad experience in student affairs over 18 years, particularly in student life, strategic planning, assessment, staff development, student conduct, fraternity and sorority life, student activities and budgeting. Prior to working at HPU, I worked at Auburn University, Clemson University and Saint Francis University.