Vice President and Dean of Student Life | St. Lawrence University President's Office

Vice President and Dean of Student Life

To:  The St. Lawrence Community

From:  William L. Fox, President

Date:  November 29, 2018

Subject: Vice President and Dean of Student Life

I am sharing the news today that Joe Tolliver, vice president and dean of student life at St. Lawrence, will retire at the end of the academic year. When Joe completes his 13th year at St. Lawrence, he will be among the longest-serving deans in our history. But there is so much more to admire than his remarkable stamina.

Joe arrived on campus in June of 2006 coming from previous experiences as dean of the college at Haverford, vice president and dean of student affairs at Skidmore, and associate dean of the college and dean of student life at Connecticut College. 

During his time in Canton, he implemented a better partnership between the public safety office and the student body. He worked to build a strong team in college life including improvements in the health and counseling center, residence life, and reimagining the career services operations. Joe also has worked tirelessly to improve relationships between the institution and the Greek system. During his tenure, he oversaw the dining services operation which has been recognized by the Daily Meal as among the best in the country. 

Joe has advised student government and student leadership organizations at every institution he has served since 1974. This alone, as an “unbroken streak”, probably sets a record. He has had, in a word, a significant impact on thousands of students during his career. 

Joe has been a member of the New England Deans Association for the past 37 years and has hosted the annual meeting at this home institution several times. Joe has also been heavily involved at his alma mater SUNY Plattsburgh as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and most recently was elected Vice President of that group.

Joe plans to move back to Saratoga Springs where he has a permanent residence. He plans to travel the world in pursuit of hearing, seeing, and feeling live Jazz performances. He also hopes to spend time with his beloved dogs and volunteer in animal welfare organizations. To thousands of alumni, past and current trustees, Joe Tolliver is a Laurentian for Life.

I extend my thanks to Joe for all he has accomplished in his years of service at St. Lawrence and for his more than 30 years in higher education. I will sorely miss his cheerful nature and optimism as a friend, colleague, and Hillside neighbor. 

I will write again shortly with information about our search process for the next vice president and dean of student life; as is our custom, I will appoint a search committee in consultation with the Board of Trustees, Faculty Council, and the new Thelomathesian Society leadership. I am confident that St. Lawrence will identify outstanding individuals for this critical leadership position.