Associate Dean of Undergraduates Donald Ostdiek will retire at the conclusion of the 2017-18 academic year, according to an email from Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson.
Ostdiek has assumed many roles during his 21-year tenure at Rice. In addition to his job as associate dean, he is Rice’s Title IX coordinator and Policy Studies Program director.
The announcement of Ostdiek’s retirement comes months after the Student Judicial Programs reporting system was restructured due to a romantic relationship between Ostdiek and SJP director Lisa DeLaTorre. In April, Hutchinson said he believed there were no violations of university policy by Ostdiek or Delatorre.
Some of Ostdiek’s greatest accomplishments, according to Hutchinson, include establishing the Student Wellbeing Office, building the Sexual Violence Prevention and Title IX Support program and overhauling the SJP sanctions policy.
In 2012, Ostdiek received special recognition from the Rice Board of Trustees for his contributions to the university. At the time, Hutchinson wrote in his nomination letter to the board that Ostdiek had made a positive impact on the university.
“For many of us in administration at Rice, Don is a key player,” Hutchinson wrote. “Without question, he has made Rice a better place for undergraduate and graduate students alike.”
In an email to Rice faculty and staff, Hutchinson said Ostdiek would be missed by the Rice community.
“All of us at Rice are grateful to Don for his innovation, his dedication and his commitment in making this a better campus,” Hutchinson said.
Multiple attempts to reach out to Ostdiek for comment on his retirement were unsuccessful. Hutchinson declined further comment on Ostdiek’s decision to retire.
According to Hutchinson, incoming Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman will choose Ostdiek’s replacement.