Assistant dean of student affairs to retire after 30 years

By Matt Daray


A senior staff member from the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts is set to retire at the end of July.

Clare Mitchell, assistant dean of student affairs, is retiring this summer after 30 years of service at SIU. She has been a successful member of the university staff, earning recognition for superior achievements by the university in 2006 at the Excellence Through Commitment Awards program. Mitchell’s co-workers said her departure will leave a void that cannot be filled in the department or the university.


Mitchell stated that she thinks she has done all she can for MCMA students, helping some of them receive scholarships as well as contributing to the creation of Kellogg Hall as an MCMA student residence.

Mitchell said she is retiring for a few reasons, including family and personal issues, but also because she thinks it is time for her to move on.

“Retiring from the university will be a challenge, but it is also another opportunity,” Mitchell said. “I’ll miss the students a lot, and a lot of people I work with, but I look forward to some new and exciting challenges in my life and I know the people who are still here will do a wonderful job carrying on.”

Mitchell plans on traveling, seeing her family more often as well as additional volunteering when she retires.

Some of Mitchell’s co-workers spoke about her, holding her in very high regard saying that she will be missed at the university.

Jean Kelley, an academic advisor for radio, television, and digital media students, said she has worked with Mitchell since she first started in the department and Mitchell has been an important member of the university, prioritizing student assistance and helping fellow co-workers at every turn.

“Clare (Mitchell) always works to put the students first and provide’s as much assistance as possible to the students,” she said. “She also was there to assist faculty members with various issues that they were experiencing with students and she routinely provided information to the various administrative offices regarding MCMA, the students and the faculty and staff.”


Jack Young, an academic advisor for journalism students, shared that he has been grateful to work with Mitchell for nine years in the department. He considers Mitchell as one of the most caring professionals he has ever worked with, even outside of the university.

“Clare is such a hard worker and a true expert concerning the policies and procedures of the university, yet at the same time the friendliest face a student at SIUC could ever hope to meet,” Young said.

Mitchell said that some of her favorite times at the university involved teaching before she became an administrator and interacted with staff across the university. She said being able to work with MCMA students in her time at the university was one of her favorite things.

“I love mass communication and media arts students,” Mitchell said. “They’re creative and dynamic and very devoted to what they want to do, and it’s been a lot of fun working with that.”