Dusty Porter joins Tulane community as vice president for student affairs


Dusty Porter, new vice president for student affairs sits down with the Hullabaloo in his office. 

Armando Marin, News Editor

Dusty Porter, the newly selected vice president for student affairs and dean of students, has developed a vision for the direction for the Division of Student Affairs during his first three weeks as VPSA.

Porter said he hopes to be seen as a resource to students.

“I really hope to try to begin my Tulane experience by getting a lot of visibility with the whole diversity of Tulane students,” Porter said. “I really want to make sure that people know who Dr. Porter is, that he has an interest in promoting and supporting all students’ experiences in terms of student life at Tulane.”

The search committee selected Porter in June after an eight-month search. Porter assumed his position on July 28.

The VPSA leads the Student Affairs, which encompasses several university departments, including the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Housing and Residence Life, and Student Health Services. He also serves as a representative of students to the upper levels of the administration.

Porter said he has met with many student leaders on campus, including resident advisors, Greek organization presidents and emergency medical technicians from Tulane Emergency Medical Services. 

Porter previously served as the vice president of student affairs at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where he was instrumental in constructing two new residence halls, developing a career and professional development center and promoting health and wellness initiatives.

Porter said he will continue to offer support services to make students feel welcome and to thrive at Tulane.

“I think that we need to make sure that we have the kinds of support services in place that promote student development such as cognitive development, psychosocial development and identity development,” Porter said.

Porter has served as a LeaderShape Institute lead facilitator on other campuses. The LeaderShape Institute, which was hosted at Tulane for the first time in May, encourages students to develop their leadership skills by working with others and reflecting on one’s own strengths and weaknesses. Porter said he hopes to continue to promote student leadership on campus. 

“My goal would be to work with [Associate Vice President John Nonnamaker], his team and others on campus to think about where we are cultivating leadership on campus, where we are recognizing leadership on campus,” Porter said. “You want to recognize where leadership is taking place, but you also want to be offering experiences that help people develop leadership skills.”

Porter said he embraces Tulane’s geographic diversity and that this diversity allows the Tulane experience to be very unique.

“One of my thoughts is, ‘Are we fully taking advantage of helping students make the most of their time at a special place like Tulane, where they are surrounded by people from many other places?’” Porter said. “What I’ve experienced in life is [that] you don’t find that everywhere you go.” 

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