Brief Overview of Division of Student Affairs, Mahidol University
Division of Student Affairs was established on 31st August 1976 under the Office of the President. There were four sections of Division of Student Affairs, namely, Administration Section, Student Organization and Activity Section, Student Welfare Section and Student Healthcare Section. Division of Student Affairs was also responsible for the promotion of medical education in rural areas, initiated from 1975. Then, on 13th August 1985, two additional sections were added; namely Student Guidance and Employment Section, and Student Discipline and Governance Section. However, now Student Welfare Section and Student Healthcare Section have been merged together into one unit and called Student Service and Welfare Section. In summary, in 1985, there were 5 sections of Division of Student Affairs.
Furthermore, Division of Student Affairs was assigned to have two more sections with the aim of maintaining art and culture and administrating Mahidol University Alumni Association under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King.
Figure 1 History of the administrative structure of Division of Student Affairs, Mahidol University from 1976-1985
In December 2007, the new Mahidol board of management, under the leadership of Clin. Prof. Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, M.D., President, restructured the university. Salaya Center was now under the Office of the President and the name was changed to Division of Physical Systems and Environment. The student dormitory which was under Salaya Center was transferred to be under Division of Student Affairs. Then, on 1st May 2008, the management of Division of Student Affairs informally restructured the internal structure of student affairs. The new resturctured program was to make the organization more “flat” and there are now 8 sections, namely: Student Organization and Activity Section; Student Discipline and Development Section; Dormitory Section; Technology And Innovation Section; Student Service and Welfare Section; Art, Culture and Entertainment Section; Guidance and Alumni Relation Section; and System Development and Analysis Section.
The purpose of this restructuring was to create a network collaboration between offices with the emphasis on teamwork. The staff from different offices should be able to learn from each other. There would be no chief of staff. The work would emphasise shared goals with individual responsibility. The head of each office would only have the role of making suggestions and providing guidance.
Figure 2 History of the administrative structure of Division of Student Affairs, Mahidol University from 1st May 2008
Later, the university hired a private company to restructure the admistrative structure of the university again with the purpose of merging units with similar tasks together. Then, the management of Division of Student Affairs assigned all their staff to come up with ideas for the new structure. The result was that there should be 4 sections under Division of Student Affairs and the previous horizontal structure then became the vertical structure again starting from 1st April 2010. However, the administration was still the same. There was still no chief of staff, and the work still emphasized shared goals with individual responsibility. The head of each section still only had the role of making suggestions and providing guidance. The new 4 sections were Student Development Section; Student Service and Welfare Section; Student Affairs Management and Information Section; and Dormitory Section.
When the private company had analyzed and improved the administrative structure of the university, Division of Student Affairs was divided into 3 sections, which were Student Development Section; Student Service and Welfare Section; and Dormitory Section, starting from June 2010 according to Mahidol University’s announcement.
Figure 3 History of the administrative structure of Division of Student Affairs, Mahidol University from 1st April 2010 to 31st August 2016
Currently, Student Affairs has restructured the internal structure to conform with the overall strategy of Mahidol University in the period of 2016-2019 and to clarify the administrative tasks. Now, there are 3 more units which are Alumni Unit, Organizational Communicaion Unit, and General Administration Unit. From 1 September 2016 onwards, the structure of Student Affairs consists of 3 sections and 3 units. Their jobs are as follows:
- Student Development Section is responsible for regulating the management of student organizations which are; Mahidol University Student Council, Mahidol University Student Club and other clubs at the university level. The unit is also responsible for promoting the activities of these organizations, promoting and organizing student development activities, mobilizing volunteer work of Mahidol University, and administrating student disciplinary work and military education.
- Student Service and Welfare Section is responsible for improving the quality of life of university students. The activities include providing counsellation, developing student and counselling personnel network, recruitment and providing a job database for students, providing scholarships and providing student loans. The unit is also responsible for promoting students’ healthcare, such as providing both heathcare and dental care for students, providing allowance for dead and disabled students, organizing activities to promote students’ health, and supporting disabled students.
- Dormitory Section is responsible for residential services for students which includes providing welfare and amenities for the students both inside the dormitories and in the surrounding area, promoting activities to improve students in dormitories, ensuring that both the buildings and environment of the dormitories are convenient, clean and ready to use, and providing security services for the students in the dormitories.
- Alumi Relation Unit is responsible for the alumni database and alumi relation website. The unit promotes relationships between the current students and the alumni by collaborating with the alumni association network and creating good relationships. The unit is also the information channel for the alumni and invites the alumni to participate with the unit according to the university’s vision. Finally the unit is responsible for reporting about the alumni to help the university to develop further.
- Corporate Communicaion Unit is responsible for Student Affairs’ ICT work such as computer work, database management, multimedia creation, website and social media administration. The unit is responsible for maintaining and updating Division of Student Affairs website and Facebook page. The unit also responsible for maintaining all of the ICT equipment of Division of Student Affairs and for all multimedia tasks.
- General Administration Unit is responsible for policy and planning, budget and finance, supplies and procurement, quality system and human resources, administration and documentation, etc.