Effective August 6, 2021, Julia Carrano will resign from her position as the Dean of Students of the undergraduate and graduate levels at the University of Dallas. After two years as dean, Carrano will assume a faculty position at The Storm King School, a boarding school in New York.
Carrano said that she did not plan to step down from her position so quickly. “It was a hard decision for me. I was not ready to leave UD,” she said.
Carrano assumed her position on July 15, 2019. As an alumna of UD’s class of ‘02, Carrano was excited about her new position. “I really love the mission of the university. I love the intellectual curiosity of the students,” she said.
With five and a half years of experience as dean previously, Carrano felt ready for the position. “Having been away, I thought that I could bring some new interest to the position,” Carrano said. “I think that having an alum is great, but if you’re too connected, you’re just doing things the way they’ve always been done.”
Carrano believes that UD’s leadership adjustments at the time of her arrival improved her experience. “The new president, [Thomas Hibbs], had been appointed and Dr. [Jonathan] Sanford had been in the provost role only a couple years and there was great support with him. It was a great time to come in and get the support and leadership I would need to do my job,” Carrano said.
Sanford, now president, reciprocated Carrano’s sentiment. “She’ll be sorely missed,” Sanford said.
Through the positive influence of her colleagues, Carrano developed her own approach to leadership as dean. “I saw my role as dean of students as truly supporting students and not injecting my viewpoints and vision into everything that’s going on on campus,” Carrano said. Her approach was tailored to UD’s student culture. “UD students are fiercely independent people and they want to think for themselves. So I see my job as a coach,” Carrano said.
Incoming senior psychology major Damian Kosciolek, Student Government secretary in Spring 2021, reflected on his time working with Carrano. “I couldn’t imagine running SG without her help,” Kosciolek said in a message to The University News. “She was always so kind, quick to respond, and willing to help. Her example inspired me to be the best student leader I could be.”
While Carrano has enjoyed her time at UD, she has long aspired to a role in a boarding school. “I have, for 10 plus years, wanted to work at a boarding school. It’s something I did during the summers and I loved.” Carrano said.
Due to the limited number of boarding schools in the U.S., Carrano jumped at the opportunity to work at The Storm King School and is looking forward to the new challenges she will face. She will supervise a girls’ dorm, coach two sports, and teach history and English as a second language.
As Carrano prepares to depart, the UD administration has begun its search for her replacement.
The search was announced on June 23. Sanford expressed a hope for the new dean’s increased academic involvement. “My vision [is] that [the dean] will be more fully integrated with the academic life of the university,” Sanford said.
Due to the ongoing search, administration has appointed an interim dean who will serve through the fall semester until a permanent dean is announced. “The point of which is on one hand [for] continuity and on the other hand to make sure that we don’t feel desperate to fill the position,” Sanford explained.
“We do have an interim dean of students lined up. The student body will recognize somebody who is quite familiar with them,” Sanford said.