Editorial: A warm farewell to former Dean of Students Jamele Adams
After over 15 years at Brandeis, Dean of Students Jamele Adams left his role Friday, April 9 to take on a new opportunity. As a board, we wanted to devote this week’s editorial to say thank you and goodbye to Adams, who did so much for the student body during his time at the University.
As Vice President of Student Affairs Raymond Lu Ming Ou wrote in his April 2 email announcing Adams’ departure, Adams changed Brandeis for the better with his “tireless creativity, enthusiasm and compassion.” The “This Is Our House” tradition that he launched welcomed every member of this board to campus with a joyful celebration of the Brandeis community. Founding the Brandeis Men of Color Alliance and beginning the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations, Adams centered and opened up opportunities for Black students and other students of color. For so many more reasons than the ones listed here, campus will not be the same without Adams as our Dean of Students.
Along with all of the support that Adams offered so many groups on campus, he was always a tireless supporter of student journalism. For years, he volunteered to advise the Justice’s executive board, valuing our autonomy while also providing invaluable guidance. We have always known that Adams respected student journalism by holding us to high standards and pushing us to continually improve our reporting and our relationships with the wider Brandeis community. Any tally of all the ways Adams made an impact on Brandeis should include his dedication to student journalism.
This board extends a sincere thank you to Adams. We will miss your presence on campus, but we wish you the best with your next opportunity. We hope the next step in your career is fulfilling and meaningful.
As we say goodbye to Adams, we also want to ensure that whoever steps into the Dean of Students role continues his legacy of supporting students, especially students of color. Adams was one of the few administrators of color and one of the most visible and high-level Black staff members at Brandeis. While we trust the hiring process will be comprehensive and thorough, this board encourages those involved to take seriously the importance of filling this pivotal role with someone as committed to creating opportunities for students of color as Adams was. Moving forward, this board also encourages the administration to keep the importance of racial diversity in mind when hiring new administrators, as the absence of Adams makes the majority-white makeup of the administration all the more clear.