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Jablonski Appointed as New Residence Dean

By Jeremy Hylton
Editor in Chief

Margaret A. Jablonski, an assistant dean at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, accepted MIT's offer to be the next associate dean for residence and campus activities yesterday morning.

Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs Arthur C. Smith announced the appointment yesterday. Jablonski will start at MIT on Feb. 1.

Smith said Jablonski has a strong background and is well-qualified for the position.

"She has the right kind of concerns for working with students: a sense of fairness, an understanding of what a university is all about. Having been at WPI, she has a better picture of a technical institution and what the consequences of that are," Smith said.

Undergraduate Association President Hans C. Godfrey '93 was also enthusiastic about the choice. Godfrey and several graduate students interviewed Jablonski during the selection process.

"She was well qualified, and she impressed me. I think she'll treat students fairly," Godfrey said.

Enjoys working with students

Jablonski said she enjoys working with students and campus issues. "I know MIT is a very intense, challenging academic experience. I see my role as trying to support students in achieving success academically and at the same time as developing as total persons," she said.

"I really thoroughly enjoy dealing with student issues," Jablonski said. "I like helping students find a solution to a problem and not just giving them a solution to a problem."

Smith and Godfrey both noted that her work with science and engineering students will help her adjust to MIT. "I'm aware that MIT has its own culture, and I want to take some time to get to know that," Jablonski said.

"I would perceive that I am going to be very active in the campus life and that in general I feel students should be empowered to make decisions and should be involved in decision making. I look forward to being part of an overall staff in the student affairs area," Jablonski said.

Jablonski also said, "I feel I have some experience dealing with sexual harassment policies and procedures and also bias-related harassment."

Referring to the recent debates at MIT over the harassment policy and freedom of speech, she said: "I would basically say it is very healthy for a campus to debate the issues around free speech and harassment."

Jablonski was chosen from a short list of three candidates submitted to Smith by the dean selection committee in early November. The committee started with a field of 145 applicants and narrowed it to 3 candidates in two phases.

"I thought the committee did a very good job," Smith said. "That was a process that took a little while, but I was happy that we had gone through it. I think students have contributed a lot and I think it was a good process."

Jablonski has worked at WPI since 1988, first as director of housing and then as assistant dean for residential services. As dean, she supervised the 1,300-person housing system at WPI and managed a $3.6 million budget.

She also served as victim assistance program coordinator for Boston University (1987-88), assistant director of housing at BU (1985-87), family housing coordinator at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1983-85), and director of Greek affairs at Amherst (1981-83).

Jablonski received a bachelor's degree cum laude in history from UMass Amherst in 1981. She also received the Dean Field Award for Outstanding Service to the University. She received a master's degree from UMass Amherst in 1984, where she researched higher education theory and legal issues.

In 1992, she received a doctorate in education from Boston University, focusing on administration, training, and policy. Her doctoral work on the leadership styles of women college presidents received three awards: the National Association for Women in Education Research of the Year Award, the BU Graduate Student Association Dissertation of the Year Award, and the Massachusetts College Personnel Association Research Award.