Cornell has named interim Dean Marla Love the Robert W. and Elizabeth C. Staley Dean of Students, the University announced Wednesday.
Love had served as interim dean since September 2020 after the departure of the previous dean of students, Vijay Pendakur. Before stepping into this post, Love served as Cornell’s senior associate dean of diversity and equity. During her time at Cornell, Love has been heavily involved in equity and mental health efforts, and plans to strengthen community among students.
Love joined Cornell as senior associate dean in 2017 and became involved in diversity initiatives aimed at engaging students of color. She also served as chair of the University’s Bias Assessment and Review Team, which provides resources for people who experience harassment or harm.
During the 2019-2020 academic year, Love co-chaired a campus-wide mental health review, where she worked with faculty to better understand their perspectives on student mental health. This year, she helped launch the University’s new Community Response Team, which provides assistance to students in crisis in on-campus residential communities.
Love is a mentor for the Meinig Family Cornell National Scholars program, a selective program for incoming students that demonstrate outstanding leadership. She is also part of the leadership team for the Kessler Scholars Program, which provides first-generation students academic, financial and social support. A first-generation college student herself, Love has overseen three cohorts of students through the program.
Before her appointment at Cornell, Love served 15 years at other educational institutions. She previously worked at Azusa Pacific University, where she served as director of graduate and professional student affairs and completed her Ph.D. in higher education. She has also worked at Scripps College, where she served as assistant dean of students, as well as at Calvin College and at Phillips Andover Academy.
As dean, Love plans to continue to support diversity and inclusion efforts. She will also continue to serve as one of Cornell’s Presidential Advisors on Diversity and Equity, a three-person team including the president, provost and academic deans.
“I have worked with Cornell students at defining moments in their lives and have been inspired by their courage, character and spirit,” Love said in a University press release. “I look forward to creating lasting partnerships with students as we build systems to support, strengthen and enhance the fabric of our campus community.”