Tipton and Efinger to Become Cluster Deans in WQN and WQS

The Quads will welcome two new cluster deans this fall. Frank Tipton, Instructor of History and Social Sciences and Advisor on Gay, Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Issues, will become the cluster dean of West Quad North. Cindy Efinger, Director of Student Activities, will take over as the cluster dean of West Quad South. The two openings were announced in November because current deans Chad Green and Peter Washburn have each fulfilled their tenure. “I applied because I enjoy working with students and faculty and building communities on campus,” said Tipton. Efinger cited relationships with students from her role as Director of Student Activities as the reason behind her application. “I want to get to know the students on a more personal basis,” she said. According to Paul Murphy, Dean of Students and Residential Life, Tipton and Efinger were selected due to the unique perspectives that they will bring to the Deans’ Table. “The deans used to be exclusively teachers, so today’s deans are a nice shift which brings a whole different set of skills to the table,” Murphy said. “It is good to have different perspectives represented from the cluster deans,” he continued. “[Tipton’s] work in CAMD was important to his candidacy.” “[Efinger] brings a whole lot to the table. On top of her work in student activities, she has been at Andover for a long time, and she has raised three sons,” he added. “All of the other deans have younger kids, so [Efinger] has a unique parent perspective,” said Murphy. Rebecca Sykes, Associate Head of School, added that Efinger and Tipton have become notable figures on the Andover campus and have strong relationships with students. “[Efinger and Tipton] each demonstrated a real passion for residential life and for work with students and faculty in the cluster system,” she said. Vincent D’Andrea ’10, a three-year resident and proctor in Bishop Hall where Tipton is a house counselor, believes that Tipton will make a good cluster dean and change West Quad North for the better. “[Tipton] has the ability to make WQN so much better by really hearing students’ ideas for improvement and change,” he said. “He is very supportive, and he approaches each individual situation as an opportunity for improvement rather than discipline,” D’Andrea continued. “My goal is to make sure that everyone has the best experience that they can, and I will do whatever I can do in my capacity to make that happen,” Tipton said. Claire King ’10, Blue Key Head, said, “Cindy [Efinger] has done so much for the students in her time as Student Activities Director, and I’m so glad to see her have a chance to take her influence to the next level as cluster dean.” “She knows the school so well and truly gets Andover students,” she continued. Efinger said that working as Director of Student Activities within the Dean of Students Office allowed her to understand the position of cluster dean, and to see that it would be a good fit. “My department is under the Dean of Students Office, so I’ve had the chance to work with all of the deans, and I’ve seen what they can do,” Efinger said. “I have some big shoes to fill,” she continued. “I want to move into the position and oversee the first year to just see how it goes.” Another factor that contributed to the final selection was the way that Tipton and Efinger will fit with the dynamics in the deans’ office. “We work as a team in [the deans’] office. Running the cluster is only a piece of what [the deans] do,” Murphy said. “Who we hire not only has to have the qualifications to run a cluster, but also to be a part of the dean team in this office.” “We currently have the most veteran group of people [working as cluster deans]. They have worked together for five years, they know each other well and it’s a tight team,” he continued. Both Tipton and Efinger will retain their current positions on top of their new duties. Efinger has juggled positions on campus since 1993, when she became a house counselor for Stevens House. In 2003, Efinger served as the interim Director of Student Activities, but she enjoyed the position and relationships with students so much that she decided to stay on the job. “I was only planning on staying for a year, but I ended up falling in love with it and I wanted to stay longer,” she said. According to Murphy, Tipton and Efinger were chosen out of four applicants. Each applicant notified Murphy of their intention to apply to become a cluster dean in late November, and after an interview process, the decision was announced to the faculty on December 15. Each candidate had a one-on-one interview with Murphy, Sykes, Temba Maqubela, Dean of Faculty, Carlos Hoyt, Associate Dean of Students, and each of the current cluster deans. Green and Washburn will assist Tipton and Efinger in their transition to the new positions. The new deans will soon begin attending the deans’ meetings and learning about the facets of their position.