Dr. James Hoppe
President Lee Pelton announced today that Dr. James Hoppe has been appointed to serve as Emerson College’s Vice President and Dean for Campus Life, effective early July 2016. He succeeds Dean Ron Ludman, who retired last summer after 37 years of extraordinary service to the College.
“Those who met Jim while he was on our campus enthusiastically supported his candidacy and we are very fortunate to have attracted such an experienced, talented, and caring professional to work with our student community and to serve on the President’s Council,” Pelton wrote in a message to the Emerson community.
“I am honored to be selected as Vice President and Dean for Campus Life, following the legacy of Ron Ludman,” Hoppe said. “This is an exciting time to become an Emersonian and it will be a privilege to work with the community to craft a transformative student experience,” he said.
Dr. Hoppe brings to Emerson more than 26 years of commitment to creating inclusive learning environments that foster student success. He is presently Dean of Students at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, which he joined in 2004 as Associate Dean and was promoted to his current role in 2007.
Among his numerous accomplishments there have been providing leadership for college efforts to enhance the quality of advising; overseeing two organizational change processes to increase his department’s effectiveness; creating late-night, alcohol-free programming for students; and leading new initiatives to increase support and visibility for the LBGT community.
Previously, he had been an adjunct faculty member at University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul, Minnesota; associate dean for student development at the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington; associate director for residence life at Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri; and assistant director of residence life and fraternity advisor at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.
He earned a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Saint Louis University; an MS in Higher Education and Student Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington; and a BA in Political Science, magna cum laude, at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.
Hoppe has been an active member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, Oxford, Ohio and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (Region IV-East) and has been a volunteer with the National Interfraternity Conference.
As Emerson’s chief student affairs officer, Hoppe will partner closely with Academic Affairs, Enrollment, Diversity and Inclusion, student leadership, and the Division of Student Affairs to shape collaboratively a strategic vision for campus life that reflects the mission and spirit of the College.
Hoppe will oversee the departments of: Athletics; Career Development; Health and Wellness; Counseling and Psychological Services; Housing and Residence Life; Student Activities; Multicultural/GLBTQ Student Affairs; Student Accessibility Services Office; and Spiritual Life. In addition, he will work closely with the leadership of Emerson’s Los Angeles Center and Kasteel Well, as well as with those at other sites around the world, to ensure that Emerson students are supported in their academic and personal development.
“Once he arrives in July, Jim will undoubtedly need time to assess and prioritize the numerous opportunities for enhancing and strengthening the already robust student experience at Emerson,” Pelton said.
“Among those identified during the search were developing collaborative programs and best practices that link student life to their academic programs; fostering a greater sense of community among Emerson students in Boston, Los Angeles, the Netherlands, and around the world; and championing and advancing Inclusive Excellence,” he said.
In Boston, while the College currently offers campus housing to all first- and second-year undergraduates, beginning in fall 2019 Emerson will be able to also house all third-year undergraduates, increasing its residential community by 30 percent or approximately 670 additional students.
“This development will surely be among the greatest opportunities for strengthening Boston’s campus experience that Jim and his team will encounter early in his tenure at Emerson,” said Pelton.
Hoppe will be moving to Boston with his husband, Mike Weckesser, and their two sons, Cole and Grant.
Pelton extended gratitude to the members of the search committee for their leadership and service:
Chair: Dr. Sylvia Spears, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
Dr. Miranda Banks, Associate Professor, Visual & Media Arts
Michael Brown, J.D., Assistant Professor, Journalism
Al Jaffe, Trustee
Ruthanne Madsen, Vice President for Enrollment Management
Carol Parker, Assistant Vice President for Faculty Affairs, Academic Affairs
Madeline Ramaley ’19, Political Communication
Linda Schwartz, Trustee
Emily Solomon ’17, Media Studies
Pelton also recognized Interim Dean Sharon Duffy for her dedication, talent, professionalism, and overall exuberance in managing student affairs during this academic year. “We are so grateful for all that she does for Emerson College and for our students,” Pelton said.