Six and a half months after stepping down from his post at Harvard, Paul J. McLoughlin—former senior adviser to Dean of the College Evelynn M. Hammonds—was named the new Dean of Students at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., on Friday.
McLoughlin, who will begin his new job on July 1, was chosen for the position from a pool of four finalists.
McLoughlin said that Lafayette College was “the very perfect fit for me,” due to its small size, rigorous academic curriculum, and residential environment. He added that he expects to draw on his experiences at Harvard in his new position.
“Over the years at Harvard, I had the opportunity to listen to literally hundreds of students and to learn from them what matters most,” McLoughlin said. “I hope to listen and learn a lot in my first year [at Lafayette].”
After leaving his position as Hammonds’ right-hand man in mid-August, McLoughlin returned to Boston College, where he had completed his Ph.D. in higher education administration the previous spring, to teach graduate students and work on turning his dissertation into a book.
McLoughlin, whose research focuses on undergraduates at elite colleges who come from low-income families, said he hopes to help students thrive at Lafayette regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds.
When he left Harvard last August, McLoughlin told The Crimson that his experiences at the College “helped me focus on what I really enjoy doing and what I’ll seek in my next position—what I’m seeking now is certainly direct work with undergraduates, likely at a dean of students level, or a president level maybe eventually.”
During his time at Harvard, McLoughlin, now 37, rose through the ranks of the College’s administration at what many called a precocious pace.
He started at age 26, in 2001, as a counselor in the Office of Career Services. Two years later, he was promoted to assistant dean of student life.
When Dean of the College Evelynn M. Hammonds began her tenure in 2008, she made McLoughlin her senior adviser and associate dean of the College.
McLoughlin’s tenure as Hammonds’ senior adviser was marked by the creation of the Student Organization Center at Hilles, the development of a structure for a five-week winter break, and expanded opening week programming for freshmen.
“Paul has great rapport with students,” said Freshman Dean Thomas A. Dingman ’67, who worked closely with McLoughlin during his time at Harvard. “I think Paul recognizes that not to hear the students’ voice means that you’re working without adequate information and you’re not likely to be developing policies that will have any long-run success or staying power.”
—Staff writer Nathalie R. Miraval can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Staff writer Rebecca D. Robbins can be reached at email@example.com.