Dr. Sara Asher Appointed Assistant Dean of Students on Beren Campus
Dr. Sara Asher will be the new assistant dean of students for the Beren Campus, according to an email Vice Provost for Student Affairs Chaim Nissel sent to Beren students on Monday, Nov. 16. In this new role for Beren Campus, Asher will oversee residence life and student life offices and work with student leaders.
The Assistant Dean of Students is a new position at YU. Previously, these responsibilities had been taken care of by various staff members who divided their time between the Beren and Wilf campuses; however, Nissel told The Commentator that he felt there was “a need to have a senior student affairs person on the Beren campus to direct the various student facing areas.”
In addition to supervising the housing and student life offices, this new role includes working with students on both a communal and an individual level to ensure that all needs are addressed, according to Asher. This new job also involves managing programming on campus and working closely with student leaders on events and the student experience. Asher added that she will be coordinating with many other departments to “continue to make the YU undergraduate experience growthful and enjoyable.”
“I am really hoping to meet the students and would be delighted for students to come by just to say hi and introduce themselves,” Asher expressed to The Commentator. “I am excited to be back at YU and am committed to working with our wonderful students and the dedicated Beren staff to continuing to make this a special place to be.”
Asher earned her doctorate in psychology at Pace University in 2010. She began at YU as a postdoctoral fellow at the Counseling Center, working under the leadership of Counseling Center Director Dr. Yael Muskat and Nissel as the then-associate dean of students. Following her postdoctoral year, she continued to work at the YU Counseling Center from 2011 until 2018. For the past two years, Asher worked as the Director of School Psychology at Yeshiva of Central Queens (YCQ), an elementary school in Flushing, NY.
When reflecting on her supervisory responsibilities at YCQ, Asher stated that “the experience I received there prepared me to manage a team of professionals, direct the overall running of a department, and to simultaneously pay close attention to the needs of each student. These are all skills that will help me be successful in my new role at YU.”
The appointment of Asher follows a sequence of administrative changes over the course of this past year. Former Senior Vice President Josh Joseph left YU at the end of Spring 2020 to become executive VP and chief operating officer at the Orthodox Union, and Nissel was promoted from university dean of students to vice provost for student affairs, working under Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Selma Botman.
Part of Nissel’s role as dean of students was directing all undergraduate student life, including housing, counseling, health and disability services, academic support, student government, activities and campus programming, many of which Asher will now be overseeing in her new position. Nissel told The Commentator that he does not anticipate creating a similar position on the Wilf campus at this time.
“[Dr. Asher] is very excited to meet with students and we are thrilled to have her as part of our team,” Nissel expressed. “Having someone of Dr. Asher’s caliber involved in the various services on Beren, and available to help individual students navigate college life, will undoubtedly help enhance the student experience.”
“I’m so excited that Dr. Asher has joined the team, and I very much look forward to working with her,” said Stern College for Women Student Council President Shira Schneider. “I’ve heard great things about her and know that we will definitely benefit from having an Assistant Dean of Students that is full time on the Beren campus.”
Photo Caption: Brookdale Residence Hall
Photo Credit: Yeshiva University