Fall 2016: New Roles & Faces
Dear Occidental Community:
Here is an overview of significant new hires and departures, changes in reporting lines, titles and promotions that have taken place since May 2016. (Some of this memo repeats information that President Veitch included in his September 20 campus email.) These changes are the result of a variety of factors: For the most part, shifts in reporting lines reflect an effort to create greater administrative efficiencies and internal communication; promotions and title changes are a reflection of our desire to recognize exceptional work or an expansion of responsibilities; while new hires are the result of departures due to retirement, personal reasons or the pursuit of professional opportunities elsewhere in an improving economy.
As you know, Kerry Thompson has taken on the role of interim vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College. He has appointed a full slate of new associate deans:
- Carl F. Braun Professor of Chemistry Eileen Spain — Associate Dean for Research/Divisional Dean of the Sciences
- Professor of Theater Susan Gratch — Associate Dean for Curriculum and Academic Support/Divisional Dean of the Arts and Humanities
- Professor of Cognitive Science and Philosophy Carolyn Brighouse — Associate Dean for Core Curriculum and Student Issues/Divisional Dean of the Social Sciences.
Meanwhile, the VPAA/dean search committee—ably co-chaired by Alexandra Puerto and Ruth Jones—is pressing ahead with the national search for a permanent dean. Applications are already coming in, and the search committee will begin reviewing them within the next few weeks.
A number of significant investments in the staffing and structure of Academic Affairs have been made. After lengthy deliberations and in recognition of the critical role they play in the academic life of the College, both the library and the Center for Digital Liberal Arts (CDLA) now report to the dean of the College, as well the Hameetman Career Center. Daniel Chamberlain has been named assistant dean/director of CDLA/acting library director.
As announced earlier, Cherena Walker is the inaugural associate vice president and executive director of the Hameetman Career Center. Cherena comes to us from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where she served as director of career services for mid-career programs.
Liz Boyd ’96 began as the new administrator of academic and faculty affairs for the Dean’s Office on May 16. Among her responsibilities will be oversight of the academic affairs budget. A geology major at Oxy, Liz worked for the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at Caltech, most recently as associate academic affairs assistant.
Director of Academic Advising and Core Program Coordinator Ed Johnson’s responsibilities have been expanded in recognition of the importance that advising plays in the lives of our students. Ed is now also responsible for assigning faculty advisors to all incoming first-year and transfer students.
Deena Selenow, an acclaimed director for live performance and interdisciplinary arts curator, has been named director of Oxy Arts, the College’s campus-wide hub for the arts. Deena is an experienced director, producer, curator and teacher who also is a leader in equity, diversity and inclusion practices. She succeeds Aandrea Stang, who left Oxy in January.
Registrar Vic Egitto has announced his intent to retire later this year after 18 years of service to the College. An update will follow as soon as his plans are finalized.
As President Veitch said in his email to campus, given the highly competitive environment in which we find ourselves, we have focused our energies over the last six months on refining our recruitment strategies. Specifically, that has meant developing a more sophisticated approach to communication with students and parents through a variety of different platforms; improving student retention; expanding our regional and international outreach; and using data more effectively to help us better understand students’ choices. Vince Cuseo is leading that effort, and his new title of vice president of enrollment and dean of the College acknowledges the importance of this more comprehensive approach.
One of Vince’s first steps has been to restructure his office and hire an associate vice president of enrollment. After a national search, Chris Ferguson, who fills the vacancy left by Sally Stone Richmond (now head of admissions and financial aid at Washington and Lee), joined us in mid-September. Chris brings 16 years of admission experience to Oxy, most recently at Drexel University in Philadelphia. His expertise in data assessment and research will help target our recruitment efforts more effectively. Chris graduated from Wilmington College and earned an M.S.W. from the University of Denver and an Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
As announced previously, Gina Becerril, formerly senior assistant director of financial aid, has assumed the role of director of financial aid. Gina follows long-time director Maureen Goldberg, who retired earlier this year. Gina came to Oxy in 2004 from the Fulfillment Fund, an organization that promotes college access to students from underserved communities.
As search committee co-chairs Clair Morrissey and Leora Freedman have already reported, we hope to welcome finalists for the job of dean of students and vice president for student affairs to campus for interviews in October. Over the last few months, they have conducted a series of focus groups with constituencies across campus to better understand the combination of skills, priorities and aspirations we are looking for in this important position.
Laura McNaughton has been appointed associate director of residential education, succeeding Juls White, who after six years at Oxy decided to move to Indiana to be closer to family. Laura, who comes from Thinking Beyond Borders, where she was an international group leader for gap-year students, is no stranger to Oxy. She served as assistant director of residential education from 2013 to 2015.
Many thanks, again, to Acting Dean of Students Erica O’Neal Howard, who has led Student Affairs so effectively during this transition. Please note that the Dean of Students Office has moved to the ground floor of Berkus Hall, off the lobby to the right as you enter. Title IX Coordinator Ruth Jones and the Title IX Office now occupy AGC 111.
Chief Diversity Officer
As announced earlier, both Jonathan Grady and Joel Gutierrez of Intercultural Affairs left Oxy for challenging new opportunities on other campuses. With this change in personnel we have aligned Intercultural Affairs with the strategic vision of our new vice president for equity and inclusion, Rhonda Brown. ICA now reports to her. A national search for an ICA director will begin shortly. ICA will maintain its focus on our students, and Rhonda will be talking with key stakeholders over the coming months about potential areas for outreach and new programming. We are grateful to Student Affairs staff for their excellent leadership in this area.
Finance, Planning & Operations
There have been a number of changes in Finance, Planning and Operations. Amos Himmelstein’s title has changed to vice president and chief operating officer, acknowledging the increase in operational units he oversees. In addition to Business Office, Budget and Planning, Facilities Management, Hospitality Services and Human Resources, Amos now oversees Campus Safety and Information Technology Services (ITS). The new reporting structure for Campus Safety reflects the recommendation of the Campus Safety Advisory Committee. Chief and Director of Campus Safety Vic Clay reports directly to Amos. Chief Information Officer James Uhrich will continue his excellent work with ITS staff in improving business and academic technology.
Other recent changes and promotions within Finance, Planning & Operations include:
- Kristi Allen, from director of budget and planning to associate vice president for institutional planning. Kristi is responsible for the operational budget for the College as well as working with resource planning and allocation. In addition, she will be working closely with the vice president of enrollment on strategic enrollment management for the College.
- Albina Ferreyra, from executive assistant to the vice president to operations project manager. In light of Amos’ new responsibilities, Albina will be taking on management of major projects.
- Lupe Salmeron, from general accounting supervisor to assistant controller of disbursements. Lupe, who recently received her CPA license, will oversee payroll and accounts payable and be looking for ways to further streamline processes in these areas.
Please note that the Payroll and Accounts Payable Office has moved to AGC 117, on the ground floor between the Cashier’s and Financial Aid offices.
Hospitality Services has restructured, maintaining the same employee count but with many changes in responsibilities and some new faces. For particulars, please refer to the email from Amy Munoz, associate vice president for hospitality services, sent to the campus community September 1.
As was announced last spring, Charlie Cardillo, senior director of annual and reunion giving at Harvard Business School, has become our new vice president for institutional advancement. During his 15 years at Harvard, Charlie played multiple leadership roles in advancement, including assistant dean for development for the faculty of arts and sciences and executive director of the Harvard College Fund.
Director of Advancement Services Sarah Ramage has agreed to assume the position of interim associate vice president for development. We expect to begin a formal search for a permanent associate vice president shortly.
Suzy LaCroix has been named interim assistant vice president for alumni and parent engagement, replacing Tyler Reich. Suzy served as director of the Annual Fund for the last 2 1/2 years.
Elizabeth Hersh has agreed to serve as the Interim director of the Oxy Annual Fund while Suzy fills in in her new role. Elizabeth previously served as associate director of the Oxy Annual Fund.
Board of Trustees
Susan Mallory ’76 M’78 has succeeded Chris Calkins ’67 as chair of the Occidental Board of Trustees. Susan, a history major at Oxy and a vice president for the global investment management firm Northern Trust, has served on the board for eight years, most recently as vice chair.
Oxy Organizational Chart
The fall update to the Oxy organizational chart should be available in my.oxy.edu (under the Employee Services tab) shortly.
Director of Human Resources
- Student Employment: