Paul Murphy Named Dean OF Students

Paul Murphy ’84 will be the next Dean of Students. Murphy, currently the Director of Summer Session, will succeed Marlys Edwards as the next Dean of Students for an initial six-year term, with the possibility of two two-year extensions. Murphy said, “I’m pretty excited…it’s a big job. I’m nervous about that.” Rebecca Sykes, Associate Head of School, called Murphy late Monday night to inform him of the selection. Sykes announced the appointment in an email sent to faculty Wednesday afternoon. Sykes said, “[Murphy] has experience with the residential program and administration, and the combination will allow him to work effectively with students and lead the Dean of Students office.” Murphy will conclude his duties as Director of Summer Session after this year and will officially begin his role as Dean of Students in late August. Murphy said he looks forward to increased interactions with students. “[As cluster dean] I loved getting to know the kids. I’ve been away from that a little bit. [Phillips Academy is] a great school with an amazing student body.” He continued, “I really enjoy working with student leaders and having relationships with these kids.” Murphy said he does not think that the Dean of Students is seen as the “bad guy” for being the disciplinarian but rather for failing to fulfill student requests. He said, “Students at a school like this will want to push the limits. They need to realize this is a community of students but adults as well. It’s all about striking a balance.” “Our job is to create an environment where people can do their best work, where students can feel safe…I have a great respect for what students do here,” he continued. Murphy plans to build on the work of Marlys Edwards, the current Dean of Students. Murphy said, “I think the Dean of Students Office is in pretty good shape right now. I don’t see a lot of gaps. I see myself coming in, taking the wheel and taking things as they come up.” Chad Green, Director of Community Service and West Quad North Cluster Dean, who also applied for the Dean of Students job, will remain in his current position. Murphy will shadow Edwards through Spring Term, learning about the major responsibilities of the Dean of Students, which include interviews of incoming faculty and housing placement for faculty and house counselors. Murphy also said that he plans to continue coaching Girls Varsity Swimming next year. Murphy plans to speak to Stephen Carter, Chief Financial Officer, who oversees summer programming at Phillips Academy, about hiring his replacement as Director of Summer Session. Murphy said, “I’m anxious to have someone really good.” Charles Shoener contributed reporting.