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Meet the University’s Dean of Students

Welcome to Peabody Hall, home of the Office of the Dean of Students for all eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools at the University of Virginia. The University offers an unparalleled student experience, but it is incumbent upon you in our tradition of student self-governance to discover the unique character of Mr. Jefferson’s University. Student government, class and school councils, club sports, membership in one of our many contracted independent organizations (“CIOs”) and societies, fraternity/sorority membership ("Greek life") and participation in resident staff, as a peer advisor, or orientation leader are just some of the ways that you can get involved at UVA.

UVA offers many paths to a rich and rewarding experience inside and outside the classroom. The resource fair at the start of the academic year and the listing of student organizations found @UVA are good places to start. Be open to trying new and unfamiliar experiences and look for ways to stretch and challenge your perspectives. This is a time in your life to be bold and daring.

Also, don't fail to appreciate that you are about to spend several years at a UNESCO World Heritage site. Take the time to walk the historic Grounds, one of our greatest gifts, and absorb the history that surrounds you. My staff and I are here to help you get the most from your time as a student at the University. Our website is designed to offer a preview of the many services, programs, and student spaces you can access through our office. You can also e-mail me at with questions, concerns, or to schedule a time to come by and visit.


Allen Groves (Law '90)
Associate Vice President and University Dean of Students

Allen Groves

Allen W. Groves
(434) 924-7133


Dean Groves

Allen W. Groves has served as University Dean of Students since August 2007.  He oversees Student Engagement; Housing & Residence Life; the University's three residential colleges (Brown, Hereford and the IRC); Fraternity & Sorority Life; Multicultural Student Services; Student Success; Orientation & New Student Programs; and the management of several student gathering spaces (including Newcomb Hall and the 1515 Building on the Corner). He also serves as a member of the University’s Critical Incident Management and Threat Assessment Teams, and his office manages the Just-Report-It incident reporting website and the Dean-on-Call incident response system, designed to increase community safety. 

Dean Groves received his juris doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1990.  He also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Stetson University, where he received the Rhett Award as the outstanding student in that major.  While studying law at the University, Dean Groves served as Area Coordinator for the Alderman Road first-year dormitories, receiving the Holland Award for his contributions to the Resident Staff program.  In 1990, he was inducted into the Raven Society for academic success and service to the University.  He is the co-author of Rescinding Offers of Admission When Prior Criminality is Revealed, 105 Ed. Law Rep. 855 (West 1996) and Embattled All Male Admissions Policy at VMI: Will the Fort Fall?, 61 Ed. Law Rep. 417 (West 1990).

In 2014-15, Dean Groves was one of 30 citizens asked to serve on the Governor's Task Force on Combatting Campus Sexual Assault, resulting in a comprehensive report of recommendations for higher education.  He was one of 16 members of UVA President Jim Ryan’s Strategic Planning Committee in 2018-19.  In 2019 Dean Groves received the Raven Award in recognition of excellence in service and contribution to the University and in 2018 he was recognized with the Gordon F. Rainey Jr. Award for “extraordinary contribution to the University student experience.” Previous recognition includes the 2014 “Outstanding Virginian” award from Equality Virginia, an LGBT advocacy organization, and the 2013 “Outstanding Administrator” award from the Black Student Alliance and UVA NAACP.

Dean Groves previously held an equity partnership in the national law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP, where he served as Atlanta office litigation practice group chair and hiring partner.  He is a member of the Bars of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of Georgia, and is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Supreme Courts of Virginia and Georgia, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal, Fourth, and Eleventh Circuits.  He is a strong advocate of students’ rights to freedom of speech and association, and was instrumental in helping the University achieve a “green light” free speech rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education in 2010. UVA was subsequently lauded as one of “The Seven Best Colleges for Free Speech.”

Dean Groves served as the International President of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity from 2004-2006, and as its Executive Director from 1984-1987.  He later served as Chairman of the North American Interfraternity Conference from 2012-14.  In recognition of this lifetime of service to improve the fraternal experience for college students, Dean Groves received the Order of Fraternity Excellence Award from the Fraternity Executives Association in 2014.