Photo of Shirley Mosley
Shirley Mosley

Dean of Students Shirley Mosley to retire after 19 years at CWRU

After nearly two decades of dedicated service, Shirley Mosley will retire from Case Western Reserve University and her role as the dean of students on April 1. Her journey to this point was not just a career path, but a testament to her commitment to student welfare and community building.

Mosley’s career at CWRU began in 2005 in what is now the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Engagement, following more than 20 years at Cleveland State University and six years as a social worker in the Cleveland community. She transitioned to Human Resources in 2009, before moving to the Dean of Students Office after a colleague encouraged her to apply for the assistant dean of students role.

“I wasn’t sure how much social work you could really do in higher education,” Mosley said. “But I took a look at the job description—which included a lot of things I used to do, like connecting students with resources, supporting them, advocating for them and their mental health—and I thought, ‘I can do that!’”

Following the retirement of her predecessor, Dean Patterson, in 2019, Mosley was promoted to the dean of students role.

“As dean of students—and in her other roles—Shirley Mosley has helped countless CWRU students thrive,” said Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Peter Whiting. “She has been a treasured colleague who provides wisdom and support so we can do our best work, and I am grateful to have had her sage advice and guidance. I will miss working with her, as will so many others.”

Her tenure has witnessed significant transformations in student support services, driven by her vision for a collaborative approach to student care. Since joining the Dean of Student Office in 2015, Mosley has expanded the staff from two to five, established dedicated support for each school to provide better continuity and developed processes to provide support for each student’s unique needs.

One of Mosley’s most notable achievements is the creation of the Campus Assessment, Referral and Engagement (CARE) management approach, which restructured the way the university supports students. Inspired by discussions with University Health and Counseling Services, this structure aimed to prevent students from falling through the cracks with a team-based approach, including representation from essential departments across campus.

“If there is a concern about a student that comes to the Dean of Students Office, we schedule a CARE management meeting with the student, and all the parties that need to be part of that  meeting are there,” explained Mosley. “This helps our students know who they can go to if they have any issues—physically, emotionally, academically—and feel more comfortable navigating life at CWRU.”

Reflecting on her career, Mosley emphasized the importance of collaboration in fostering student success. 

“I believe that this is the work that I’ve been called to do, but I also believe we need to rely on one another because I definitely do not have all the answers,” she said with a laugh. “My staff have been instrumental in enhancing and creating many of our processes—we’re all in this together, and I hope our campus community continues to work together in supporting our students.”

Mosley also credited former Vice President for Student Affairs Lou Stark for many of her achievements as part of the Dean of Students Office. 

“I’m especially thankful for Lou always giving me the go-ahead to do what I needed to do to help our students—none of this would have happened without his support.”

In retirement, Mosley plans to enjoy more time with her two granddaughters, Isabella and Gianna, and her hobbies of canning, quilting and scrapbooking.

The campus community is invited to celebrate Mosley’s career and contributions to CWRU at a retirement reception Wednesday, March 27, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Thwing Atrium.