Vice Provost Charles Robbins Addresses the ‘Missing Men at Graduation’

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Charles Robbins, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of the Undergraduate Colleges at Stony Brook University, participated in Connected 2017, the Education Advisory Board (EAB) Student Success Collaborative Summit held in Washington, DC, in October.

EAB helps education leaders by finding best practices to address education’s top challenges with research forums dedicated to presidents, provosts, chief business officers, and many other key academic and administrative leaders. Connected is a two-day event designed to bring the most relevant, actionable, and inspired ideas in student success to administrators responsible for positively inflecting student outcomes.

Vice Provost Charles Robbins

Vice Provost Charles Robbins

At the summit, Robbins spoke about “The Missing Men at Graduation” and his work with Stony Brook’s Academic Success Team analyzing issues that impact the four-year graduation rate and first-year retention rate for male students. Stony Brook enrolls more men than women, but less men are graduating, and this is also true on a national level, where for every four women that graduate, only three men graduate.

Robbins and his colleagues found that, though men are often thought to be advantaged or privileged in institutional settings, adhering to stereotypical masculine norms often prevented Stony Brook’s male students from succeeding in college and beyond. The team put together a study on the male completion gap, collaborating with Michael Kimmel, Director of the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities.

They identified factors that make it difficult for men to be successful in higher education and beyond. Most of these factors fall under what they refer to as Toxic Masculinity: “An extreme overly restrictive reliance on societal stereotypes and mores about what it means to be a man, about how men should act, and it often results in a pattern of inappropriate, self-harming and often violent behaviors.”

To find out more, watch his Connected 2017 presentation:

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