Search continues for administrators

By the

August 22, 2002

Over the summer, Vice President of Student Affairs Juan Gonzalez and other Student Affairs staff began the process of filling the newly-created position of the Special Assistant to the Vice President.

The position was created in March by Gonzalez with the specific purpose of having a hired administrator to deal with the issues of the University lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The LGBT working group composed a list of individuals who may be candidates or who may know of potential candidates. Gonzalez has since given Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Todd Olson and Associate Dean of Students Jeanne Lord the responsibility of contacting these individuals. Once a final list is composed, members of the LGBT working group, Gonzalez and several senior-level administrators will be involved in the interview and selection process.

According to Gonzalez, no deadline has been placed on the filling of the new position. “We will try to move as quickly as possible ? I would have preferred to have found someone already,” he said. “We are looking for ? someone who understands the struggles with sexual orientation ? We want the person to be an expert in the field, so that he or she can work with the counseling center, the Department of Public Safety, Residence Life, the school newspapers and the LGBT students ? [The process] is slower because we’re looking for such a qualified person. I have confidence that we’ll get there.”

GU Pride Co-President Danielle DeCerbo (CAS ‘03), who was an active participant in a campaign for an LGBT resource center last year, said that she agreed that finding a qualified person for the position is more important than the speed of the process.

“Speed is not the issue here,” DeCerbo said. “As a student, I’m interested in finding a person who has a background in higher education and in LGBT issues.”

Gonzalez added that the University is not interested in finding a candidate to deal with individual clinical therapy, but instead wants an individual who can “help the [University] change to better serve the LGBT students.”

Olson, who began his current position in June, said that he was happy with the selection process. “The process is taken seriously and done thoughtfully,” he said. “I think that this is very positive for the University.”

The departure of several University staff members last spring has left two other administrative positions vacant, that of the University Chaplain and the Director of Student Programs

The previous University Chaplain, Rev. Adam Bunnell, O.F.M., Conv., announced his resignation last spring after five years at Georgetown, during which he faced criticism from students and administrators over budget and staff issues.

Rev. Scott Pilarz, S.J. (CAS ‘81) was named Interim University Chaplain effective July 1. Pilarz is an assistant professor in the English Department and chaplain-in-residence in LXR hall. He has been at Georgetown since 1996.

A job description for the position, which oversees the Office of Campus Ministry and its $2.4 million budget, is posted on University President John J. DeGioia’s website. DeGioia will use a national search process similar to those used for other high-level University positions to fill the post.

Although a search committee recruited candidates and conducted interviews last spring, no one was hired to fill the position, which has remained vacant since mid-April. A second search committee of students, faculty and administrators has been formed. Lynne Hirschfield, senior business manager of the Offfice of Student Affairs, confirmed that a second ad for the position had been placed in the Chronicle of Higher Education, a weekly newsmagazine for university faculty and administrators.

Mary Kay Schneider served as Director of Student Programs at Georgetown for three years before leaving in April to take the position of associate dean of students at the University of Florida. She oversaw student organizations, student government, new student orientation, performing arts, outdoor education, student media, leadership development, the Women’s Center, Philodemic Debate and the Georgetown Program Board.

Martha Swanson, director of student organizations and associate director of student programs, has assumed many of the Director of Student Program’s former duties, according to David Vaughan, OSP Program Coordinator.

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