Unimportant questions with important people: Paul Adams

Christine Lee, Life Editor

The Beacon: What responsibilities do you have as Vice President of Student Affairs?

Adams: As Vice President of Student Affairs, I’m a member of the President’s Cabinet, (who) are the direct reports to the President. I have responsibility for Student Affairs as well as Information Technology, the Center for Global Education and Diversity, University College, and Intercollegiate Athletics. Working with me is the Dean of Students and (Associate) Dean Barbara King, who does all the judicial and commuter affairs, Ms. Adelene Malatesta, who’s the director of athletics, Ms. Gloria Barlow, who’s the chief information officer, and Ms. Georgia Costalas, who is the managing director of the Center for Global Education and Diversity. It amounts to about 70 different full-time staff.


The Beacon: What are some interesting facts about yourself?

Adams:  One thing people may or may not know is that my wife, Jean Adams is part-time member of the art faculty here. She teaches the clay classes on campus so we’ve been part of Wilkes for a lot of years and we both met here when we were students at Wilkes.


The Beacon: What is something that you think people should know about you?

Adams: I would hope that (people) would always believe me to be approachable and willing to help make their situations here at the University positive and successful. Unfortunately I’m in a position where I’m not always able to say yes to everything that everybody wants but I hope that I leave every situation as positive as it can be handled. You always work from that mantra, ‘leave the situation better than you found it,’ and I hope that’s the way I approach my work with students here.


The Beacon: What is your favorite thing about Wilkes?

Adams: I can’t say enough about Wilkes because certainly it’s given me wonderful opportunity after opportunity after opportunity whether it has been as a student or a staff member. I’d like to think that what Wilkes has done for me is what Wilkes does for any of the students that choose to attend here: that it provides opportunity and challenge.


The Beacon: Can you define specifically what ‘Student Affairs’ entail?

Adams: Student Affairs is a lot of the out-of-the-classroom experiences for students. Specifically it is the non-academic aspects of University life outside of the financial aid, finance, and registration realms. It’s housing, activities, athletics, health services, community services, interfaith, the E-mentor program, all of orientation, support for academic advisers, disability support services, services for international students and students of color, taking care of conditionally-admitted students, creating transitional programs for underprivileged high school students, providing health, wellness and counseling services, intramurals, and intercollegiate athletics.

The Beacon: What do you like best about your role?

Adams: I have the privilege of working with a lot of wonderful people. I have wonderful staff and I have always enjoyed the opportunity to work with young people and help create success for them here at the University. Beyond that I think what you come to enjoy about a role like this is that no two days are the same. You always think about with full-time students (that) there are 2,200 stories out there and each one of them requires special attention and care and it’s a tremendous responsibility but it’s what I’ve come to love and what I’ve done for the past 30 plus years at Wilkes.