Associate dean, academic programs and student services, School of Criminal Justice:
When a person spends nearly 18 years of his career working for the same institution, it is difficult for anyone to doubt his genuine fondness for it. Such is the case with Dr. Bil Leipold, associate dean of academic programs and student services for the School of Criminal Justice (SCJ). Leipold has held various leadership, administrative, and teaching positions at Rutgers University in Newark and New Brunswick since 1997. The majority of his Rutgers tenure, however, has been with RU–N — nearly 14 years.
“I’m drawn to Rutgers University–Newark because of its diversity and connected community. With it comes a close-knit community that respects honesty and openness. Best of all are the people — the students, faculty, and staff.”
In his current role, Leipold and an SCJ team of esteemed professionals (Edith Laurencin, LaWanda Thomas, Sandra Wright, Jimmy Camacho, Alexandra Charles, Dennis Ng, and Phyllis Schultze), have the primary responsibility of ensuring each student’s success. Leipold’s office helps with enrollment, academic programs, academic advising, internships, and an array of life-balance issues. Examples of services provided include maintaining extended office hours during four days of the week and offering early morning, late evening, and weekend (both Saturday and Sunday) courses to accommodate students’ busy schedules.
“My favorite day at Rutgers is commencement. It’s so gratifying to see the students we’ve helped and grown to know walk confidently across the stage and shake hands with the dean. I can’t think of a better affirmation of RU–N’s mission to provide a first-rate education to an exceptionally diverse community of undergraduate and graduate students.”
An openly gay man and survivor of a hate crime in his younger years, Leipold feels an obligation to give back and offer support to the LGBTQA community and underrepresented individuals. He has taught a hate crime class at SCJ and provides training and consulting services on homophobia and social justice. For the past 15 years, Leipold and his partner of 21 years have traveled the country as trainers and consultants to enlighten college audiences on matters of diversity, tolerance, and assorted higher education leadership concerns. Using plenty ofhumor and fun, interactive exercises, their relaxed and nonthreatening style enables people to focus on inherent similarities rather than differences.
A native of central Pennsylvania, Leipold received his bachelor’s degree from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and his master’s degree from Norwich University in Vermont. In May 2014, he received his Ed.D. from St. John Fisher College in New York.
“I look forward to spending another 14 years at RU–N. I find it refreshing — a place where cognitive, emotional, and real information can be shared and appreciated, a place where the cultures, experiences, and narratives of individuals are not only valued but proudly celebrated.”