Deacon Profile: Dean of Administration


Dean Shaggy enjoying a glass of kombucha and a few unripened bananas for lunch in his favorite location on campus, the beloved South Pit window booth on a Monday afternoon.

Will Zimmerman, Online Managing Editor

Dean Shaggy began as Dean of Administration in 2017 after spending seven years as Aquatics Coordinator at the Sutton Center. On the weekends, Shaggy can be found running through Reynolda Trail, lounging with his family at the Crowne pool or trying to sneak past the guys working risk at Pike.

Editor’s Note: the following interview was conducted via Zoom. The conversation transcript has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Q: How is your current role as Dean of Administration different from your former position at the Aquatics Center?

A: The biggest difference is how well I eat now, believe it or not. When I worked over at the Aquatical Center I would bring lunch to work every day. When I moved offices — I now work at the top of the chapel — I decided I would check out the Pit. Wow, was my mind blown!

Q: What’s a typical day like for a dean?

A: I go to the Pit daily and my experiences there are consistently wonderful. The place has got everything I could ask, I mean they’ve got stuff there I can’t find anywhere else. Get this: as a kid, all we ever had around the house were these suspiciously green bananas. We joked that they looked like they were pulled off the tree yesterday. I couldn’t get my hands on any of those for decades, but I eat like three a day now.

Q: How has your job changed since the pandemic began?

A: When we were in Hot Cheeto Orange, I always took my plastic box and brought it back up to my office. I eat inside now because I felt comfortable seeing that others around me are also being COVID-safe. Maintaining six feet of distance between my fellow deans isn’t too bad because we sit at neighboring tables. I’ve even gotten used to pulling my mask back up between bites now so that’s not a problem either.

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

A: Probably my relationship with the lady who works the vegan station. I mean, those veggies are to die for. One of the top-10 vegan feeding grounds in not only the United States, but all of North America! And right here on our Wake Forest campus! They write it in those big letters, and boy, do they deliver big.

Q: Guiding the university down the right path into the future falls primarily on your shoulders. Do you have any especially significant long-term goals for Wake Forest?

A: I think it’s incredibly important that we figure out why those berries are so damn cold.

Q: In what ways does your office work to strengthen the bond between Wake Forest and the larger Winston-Salem community?

A: It’s not that I dislike frozen blueberries, but I lost a tooth to one last week and another to a peach slice at lunch today.

Q: Have you tried the blue Powerade?

A: It’s funny you ask, I was talking to a fellow dean about that just yesterday. I hear it’s ‘bonkers’ but haven’t had any. Arnold Palmer is my drink of choice. I couldn’t tell you why we don’t have any in the Pit, but you know what we do have? Kombucha! I’ve been drinking three or four glasses of that stuff daily for about a week now. I’m a ‘buch boy now. You can just bring your Nalgene down there and they will fill it up for you, now that we’re out of Navel Orange.

Q: Speaking of the changes in operating status that we’ve transitioned through, do you anticipate that the university will be able to move into Green status at some point this semester?

A: Huh, Green. You know that was my wife’s middle name? She used to do all the cooking. Ever since she left I’ve just been ‘rippin pitski’ thrice daily. Banana, a glass of ‘buch and the omelet station in the morning; pink Pit chicken, another banana and two more glasses of that nectar in the afternoon; then three plates of whatever’s going down at the vegan station for dinner.

Q: Is there anything that we haven’t discussed today that you would like to mention?

A: I feel like we covered all the bases.