Administrative Reorganization Continues with New Appointments, New Web Site, and More

Posted October 6th, 2009 at 11:16 am.

Interim Dean of Admissions Chuck Rickard

Interim Dean of Admissions Chuck Rickard

Bryn Mawr College President Jane McAuliffe and members of the recently formed Student Services Organization met in the Benham Gateway building on Sept. 29 to hear from Chief Enrollment and Communications Officer Jenny Rickard and others about the latest progress in creating a new student-services structure at Bryn Mawr.

By consolidating several offices with related missions, the new structure will coordinate previously isolated administrative functions, enabling the College to make better use of technology and thus be more responsive to student needs.

McAuliffe initially announced the reorganization of student services in e-mail messages to faculty, staff, and students over the summer. Offices involved in the reorganization include undergraduate and graduate admissions, the bursar, the registrar, student employment, career development, and financial aid.

While McAuliffe noted in those summer e-mails that the changes being made deal mostly with “behind-the-scenes” operations, she told those assembled in Gateway, “We are in the process of enhancing every aspect of the student experience on this campus and what you are doing is a key piece of that.”

Two of the most substantive changes to come from the reorganization so far are the appointment of former Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Jenny Rickard to the newly created position of chief enrollment and communications officer and the hire of Chuck Rickard (the two Rickards are not related) as the interim dean of admissions.

Chuck Rickard has more than 30 years of senior-level admissions experience, starting with his appointment as director of admissions at the University of Michigan-Flint in 1976. He retired in 2007 from Kent State, where he served as associate vice president for enrollment services for 14 years, and has agreed to serve as interim dean of admissions at Bryn Mawr while the College conducts a national search for a new dean of admissions.

“I assure you that having the same last name as Jenny was not part of the job requirement,” McAuliffe jokingly told the group.

A transition team of representatives from each department has been put together and has met seven times since the reorganization was announced. The Deans Advisory Group—made up of the dean of each school of the College and Provost Kim Cassidy and tasked with insuring that the needs of each school are being met as this new organization takes shape—has met twice.

Among that transition team’s activities has been the creation of a draft mission statement for the student-services organization; the convening of working groups focused on specific topics related to the reorganization; the creation of a timeline for the reorganization to take place; and the development of a Web site for ongoing communications concerning the reorganization.

The meeting in Gateway also served as an opportunity for staff members involved in the reorganization to voice questions and concerns about the changes that have already taken place as well as possible future plans.

One staff member expressed her anxiety related to the reorganization and concern over whether the reorganization would add more to people’s already full plates of work responsibilities.

“We’re not going to leave you or anyone else to sink or swim,” McAuliffe told her. “This is a period of ambiguity and as such it is anxiety-producing. The point of this is to find ways in which we can help you be even better resources for the students. As long as we can be open and honest with each other and about what’s working and what isn’t as we go through this process, I know we’re going to end up in a much better place.”

More detailed information about the transition to the new Student Services Organization and regular updates can be found on the Student Services Transition Team Web site.

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