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Skidmore Names New Dean of Students and VP of Student Affairs

Adrian Bautista replaces Cerri Banks, who announced she would be stepping down on May 31.

(Skidmore College)

Skidmore students have a new top advocate on campus. The college announced today that it has named Adrian Bautista as its new dean of students and vice president for student affairs, following the departure of Cerri Banks, who served in the role for the past five years.

Bautista will oversee seven direct reports and about 100 divisional staff, and work in close collaboration with the college leadership team and in partnership with faculty, staff and students. He will also help lead Skidmore’s efforts to support a diverse and engaged student population as the college transitions to a post-pandemic world, and help foster discussions on social justice, mental health, inclusivity and respect for the views of others.

Bautista has served as assistant vice president of student life at Oberlin College in Ohio since March 2017, coordinating a review and reimagining of its new student orientation program, expediting the division’s development of a mission, goals and key performance indicators, and expanding emergency fund support for students, among other achievements.

Previously, as Oberlin’s associate dean of campus life from 2004-16, Bautista provided oversight for student conduct, served as a class dean and functioned as an inaugural coordinator of the division’s Student Help And Resource Exchange (SHARE) early alert system. As director of residential education, he facilitated the implementation of a residential curriculum and the college’s first Latinx residence hall. Other roles he held at Oberlin College include interim director of its Bonner Scholars Program and community coordinator in its Multicultural Resource Center.

Bautista has more than two decades of teaching experience and an extensive record of service to college and community organizations alike. Holding a teaching appointment in the Comparative American Studies Department and First Year Seminar Program, he has taught a Latinx Oral History course, collaborating with the local historical society and faith-based organizations, as well as a class on artist/entertainer Prince.

Bautista holds a Ph.D. in American culture studies, with a concentration in ethnicity, gender and social identities, from Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in Ohio. He also holds a Master of Arts (higher education administration) and a Bachelor of Arts (history/ethnic studies) from BGSU.

“Adrian’s exceptional commitment to supporting all aspects of student development and success and a multifaceted liberal arts educational mission made him a standout choice for Skidmore,” says Skidmore President Marc C. Conner. “We very much look forward to welcoming him to our campus community.”

Bautista will begin in his new role at Skidmore on August 16.

“I am incredibly honored and excited to join the Skidmore community,” says Bautista. “Skidmore’s commitment to creativity, diversity and inclusion, interdisciplinary learning, and community engagement line up with my experiences, values, and vision. I am eager to arrive on campus in August to start working with our remarkably dedicated and talented faculty, staff, and students to build on the dynamic learning experience at Skidmore.”

Banks announced her exit from the college back in February and worked her last day at Skidmore on May 31. She will be joining the student experience team at Syracuse University.

Will Levith

Will Levith is Editorial Director at Saratoga Living and Capital Region Living magazine. He's a native Saratogian and graduate of Saratoga Springs High School. His work has been published by Esquire, Playboy, Condé Nast Traveler, Men's Health, RealClearLife and many others. He lives in Troy with his wife, Laura, and dog, Esopus.

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