“Everyone’s passion for providing students with a deep, meaningful experience was really exciting to me,” said Dean Scott Cagnet, AU’s new dean and head of the Department of Student Life.
Cagnet has been chosen to take over the role as dean of students that became vacant halfway through last school year. Cagnet comes from Rochester University where he started as the director of admissions in 2004 and went on to become the director of operations for the adult life program. Cagnet then served as the assistant dean of students for six years before making the transition to AU.
As the assistant dean of students, Cagnet became familiar with several different areas of student life he oversaw such as residence life, conduct, student organizations, international students and clubs.
“I had a lot of hats. It gave me a really good broad experience to draw from,” said Cagnet.
Besides his variety of experiences as the assistant dean of students, Cagnet served as the varsity ice hockey coach at Rochester University for six years after managing it for two years prior. Outside of his interest in hockey, Cagnet enjoys being in nature as much as possible during his free time.
“I enjoy almost anything outdoors,” said Cagnet. “So camping, hiking, fishing. If I can be outdoors, I love to be outdoors. I have gotten into gardening a lot too.”
One of the first attributes about AU that Cagnet noticed and that drew him to the dean of students position was the dedication of the AU faculty and staff.
“Throughout the interview process, I was also really struck by the desire to create a good, meaningful student experience,” said Cagnet.
Cagnet specifically wants to focus on the student experience for incoming students and freshmen.
“I really hope that we can work together as a university to help our new students transition successfully to college,” said Cagnet.
Moving forward, Cagnet hopes to create a culture that emphasizes student engagement in decision-making on campus.
“I would like to be able to create a culture where students feel comfortable advocating for themselves and students feel like they have agency over some of the decisions that get made as well,” said Cagnet.
Cagnet concluded by emphasizing that the Department of Student Life truly wants to get to know students on a personal level and understand their concerns.
“I want students to know that my office, and the larger student life office, want to get to know our students, what our students are passionate about, what they like and what they don’t like,” said Cagnet. “I hope they will always feel comfortable coming to us with ideas, with questions and with concerns.”