Care Area

Our Purpose

Professionals in the Dean of Students Office work with students, their families and campus resources to:
  • Derive success plans and provide ongoing support for students in distress dealing with a variety of issues.
  • Help students complete the necessary medical petition paperwork for all courses or medical drops before or after the drop deadline for a medical withdrawal.
  • Address a broad range of complaints either through directly assisting the student involved to resolve the issue, working with the student to contact the appropriate personnel, or referring the student to resources or offices that can directly address the issue. Follow-up is provided to the student until the situation is resolved.


The Dean of Students is very helpful! They let me know they were here to help me and not to make the situation worse. They truly do help and better the situation, while letting you know what will happen without scaring you. – Student

Incredibly helpful and welcoming when I needed help, Katie Tanner was incredible at assisting me in finding the best solution to my problem. – Student

Tanja Philhower is one of the nicest university staff members I have ever dealt with. I can't thank her enough for the help she gave me. The receptionists always smiled when I came in, and were professional and courteous. – Student

Ms. Malphurs is one of the few genuine people I have encountered at UF. She worked hard to help me with my withdrawal. Unfortunately when she was out sick, I felt I fell through the cracks. – Student

I was really hesitant to approach the DSO for an unfortunate academic issue that happened to me during the Summer of 2011. But I was pleasantly surprised with the wonderful assistance that I received from the staff and Ms.Tanja in particular has been a great help! Best Regards to the DSO staff! – Student

I have been working with Mrs. Tanner in the DSO and she has been the MOST helpful individual that I have ever come into contact with at the University of Florida. She has helped me countless times this semester and is still helping me move through my current situation. I can not thank her or the staff at the DSO enough. – Student

I appreciate the time and extra effort the staff and faculty gave with my petition request. Jeannie Malphurs, her staff, and the other faculty I contacted in this process were all very helpful, concerned and professional. – Student

When I contacted the Deans office to discuss a particular situation I was in touch with Tanja Philhower. She was very respectful of the situation and very understanding and responsive. I appreciate the time and effort on her part to assist our family. – Student

The department was very understanding and courteous. – Student

The student staff are extremely welcoming and friendly. Tanja is very helpful and she doesn't just listen to what's wrong; she helps me figure out ways to work with the situation in a productive way. I would refer any of my friends if they were in a crisis to go to the Dean of Students Office or the various other supports on campus. As a future teaching assistant, I plan to use the knowledge and experience I have gained from being a student and using the Dean of Students Office to help other students who need help find resources. – Student

The people at the Dean of Students office gave me the information I needed quickly making it easier to carry out the medical withdrawal process.

I have learned a tremendous amount by meeting with the staff of the Dean of Students Office, who I would like to add are always smiling and cheerful.

The process did its due diligence in collecting all information necessary for a medial withdrawal. Yet the process also put an emphasis on what was necessary for a return to the university. The multitude of resources at the disposal of the Dean of Students Office including the Disability Resource Center were in full display once the process began. It was comforting to know that once I returned I would have accommodations, counseling, and even lessons on how to navigate my life once I began as a student again.

“The U Matter, We Care was the best thing about Preview. I have an older son who struggled terribly with depression and anxiety after starting at UF and was eventually dismissed. U Matter, We Care gives me hope that our second son will be alright.” ~ UF Alum & Family Member

“The U matter, We Care was the best thing about Preview. I have an older son who struggled terribly with depression and anxiety after starting at UF and was eventually dismissed. U Matter, We Care gives me hope that our second son will be Alright.”

“The DSO family truly fosters an environment of care.”

I had to contact the Dean of Student's office due to my son being sick for the Summer B session and they were most gracious to me with all of my questions. ~ UF Parent

I have done both a medical drop and withdrawal - both were handled professionally and the staff members were of great help. ~ UF Student

The staff was very understanding and their kindness made the process easier. ~ UF Student

The help and support I have received from the Care Team has made all the difference as I'm working through some things. Especially now during the holiday season I'm realizing the full impact of everything they have done for me and how important it is to have an exceptional group of caring people available to help me and others who are struggling as well. This is a great service that UF offers and I will definitely refer anyone who might need some of the same help to this office. Thank you all for everything you do! ~ UF Student

Thank you! Thank you so much for everything you have done for me. You have really made a difference in my life. I'm so grateful that you reached out and helped me when you did! Things have made a complete 180 and part of that is because of you. ~ UF Student