Joseph Niswonger has been named Dean of Students for CUW. He brings nearly 30 years of experience in higher education.

After a period of interim service, Joseph Niswonger has officially been named Dean of Students for CUW. He continues to serve in his role as Title IX Coordinator & Compliance Officer for the university. He has held this role for nearly two years.

Joseph brings decades of experience to the position. He served almost 30 years in higher education overseeing residence life, conduct, Title IX, student affairs, and compliance matters for schools in Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Missouri.

He’s excited to leverage his experience on behalf of Concordia and its students. Get to know a little more about Joseph Niswonger and how he might be able to serve you.

So you’re Dean of Students…what does that mean?

The Dean of Students helps develop and maintain community standards in order to facilitate a safe and healthy campus environment for students. In my role as Dean of Students, I play a role in helping students navigate challenges. These challenges may include personal crises, emergencies, and other unusual situations. I work closely with various departments on behalf of students, both inside the classroom and outside of it. The goal is to be a helpful resource and an advocate on behalf of learners at CUW.

What types of issues can/should students bring to you?

The sky is the limit, really! Students can come to me with anything from wanting to find ways to get more involved on campus to conflicts involving other students. I also serve as a resource for students who are addressing a personal concern. It’s not uncommon for a student to have have an unforeseen extended absence, for example, due to health concerns or a family funeral.

Even if you don’t feel comfortable coming directly to me, I hope you’ll turn to any trusted employee on campus. I make a point of embedding myself into different processes and departments within the university so that I can advise those individuals to whom you have chosen to turn. No matter what you’re going through, my goal is to handle your situation with the utmost discretion. You deserve to maintain your dignity no matter the situation.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I have a wonderful wife, Julie, and three sons, Nicholas, Harrison, and Benjamin. Nicholas graduated from CUW in 2020. We live in Grafton. I enjoy going to sporting events, concerts and the movies. I’ve also been known to binge a good TV show or two, play video games and spend lots of time listening to music.

What is one of your favorite parts about being a Concordia employee?

One of my favorite “perks” is the daily Chapel time that is set aside as part of the workday. It’s such a gift to not only have the convenience of worship opportunities right down the hall, but to be part of an organization that prioritizes that time for all employees and students.

What motivates you for the year ahead?

I’m excited to be a resource for students and get to know more people. I love interacting with people and even in the midst of struggles, it’s a joy to get to connect with people on a deeper level.

Why Concordia?

Concordia is a place where its Christian values are readily apparent. I love being part of a community and a workplace where I can see those values in action on a daily basis.

Need support?

There are a variety of resources and options that will support any member of the campus community who experiences gender discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, other sexual misconduct, or who have been documented for a violation of the University sexual misconduct policy. These resources are available regardless of whether a report or complaint is filed.