The Hurricane sat down with Dean William W. Sandler to discuss his reflections on 43 years at UM, retirement and the future.
The Hurricane: Why did you decide to come to UM?
Dean Sandler: I was an RA at Penn State and I was watching a UM football game on television one day and in the back of my head I thought, “I wouldn’t mind being there.” I met the UM dean of students on a sidewalk in Philadelphia while I was at a professional conference and I asked him if there were any openings at UM. I was subsequently hired and I have been here ever since.
TH: What made you decide to retire?
DS: You get a feeling when it’s time to retire. I thought this was a good year, as my wife retired, too. Thought I would retire at the same time.
TH: What are your plans for after you leave UM?
DS: What do you mean by plans? Am I going to take my shoes off? Yes. I live in Key Biscayne and I plan to stay there. My wife and I have plans to do some traveling. Initially we’re going to Europe on a trip to Paris and Rome. When we get back I will be working with her doing educational consulting.
TH: What has been your favorite memory at UM?
DS: There are many memories, but I guess one of my favorites is living on campus with our two children, walking the lake and feeding the ducks. We lived on campus for six years and it was very pleasant for us. It is a beautiful campus and homecomings are also very nice. Homecomings are favorite memories of mine as well. Also, seeing all the different things that have been done by the administration and faculty over the years. I have also enjoyed witnessing the positive steps the university has taken to address diversity on campus by creating an equitable environment. This came about around the beginning of the 1960s.
TH: What has been your greatest achievement?
DS: I guess my achievement has been being involved with seeing that all students were treated honestly and fairly and with compassion over these many years as a dean in the Dean of Students office. A lot of regulations and procedures have changed since I have been here and I think I was involved in all these changes and making the university a much better place for students.
What will you miss most?
DS: The celebrations. There’s always a celebration, always someone who we can celebrate for his or her accomplishments. I’m also going to miss my colleagues; the University of Miami family is a great family. It has really been a privilege working with these people. I will also miss working with the students and parents-I enjoyed that. I think that working at a University requires taking time to consider the entire ambience of the place. U of M has been a great institution to spend a lifetime at. I will also miss being able to impact young lives in many different ways. I will be by to visit though; I will always be part of the university.
TH: Do you have any regrets?
DS: I guess I can say I’m totally satisfied with my experience at the University of Miami. There isn’t anything I would change. [My experience] has been wonderful here and [the university is] a great institution.
Marina Nazir can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.