By Catalina Righter
On Oct. 17, Interim President Jay Griswold sent out an email out- lining several new changes to the organization of several college offices, which he said were “reorganizations that I believe will strengthen the College.”
Griswold said that, “Efficiency is not a problem” when it came to implementing changes in the system. Griswold has been interim pres- ident for almost a semester now and said, “The senior staff team at the College is superb. Any changes I have made or will make are only im- plemented after careful thought and consultation.”
Public Safety now reports to the Office of Student Affairs instead of Chief of Staff Joe Holt. This was to emulate successful organizational structures at other colleges. Griswold said the new system is “simply an enhancement and in no way related to any problems with the former system.”
This is not the first time the reporting structure for Public Safety has changed. According to Director of Public Safety Jerry Roderick, Public Safety reported to the vice president of finance at the time he was hired for his position.
“I made the decision after close consultation with primarily Joe Holt,” Griswold said. “I believe that a stronger administrative alignment of Student Affairs and Public Safety will prove to be in the best interest of our students and the College community as a whole.”
According to Roderick, the motivation behind the change was the desire for “strategic adjustments to even out the load that each senior staff member has.”
Student Affairs and Public Safety already shared the same reporting system for incidents so both offices could be informed of specific incidents. “We worked so closely with their office any- way,” said Roderick. “I met with them more than I did with Joe Holt.”
Overall Roderick said that the staff at Public Safety are “very excited,” about the change. They “have day-in-day out contact with students… We’re very much a student support service.”
An important thing to note is that college pol- icies have not changed even though Public Safety has a slightly different chain of command. Roderick said, “Our job is first and foremost to protect stu- dents.” Public Safety is not looking to make more work for itself by harassing students, “if you don’t make your business our business.”
According to Roderick, the changes will slightly affect the way Public Safety interacts with the Ches- tertown Police Department. He said, “Student Af- fairs will have a place at the table,” in order to help represent students in incidents involving the police.
Another change was made when Brian Mat- thews was given the title of assistant to the presi- dent for special projects in addition to his duties as director for athletics. This means he will report directly to the office of the Interim president. Ac- cording to Matthews, he previously reported to the vice president of Student Affairs and before that the president. He said, “Each of these reporting struc- tures has worked fine.”
With Matthews now reporting directly to the president instead of Student Affairs, Public Safety was able to move under Student Affairs’ jurisdic- tion.
Matthews previously worked with Griswold when he was Chairman of the Board of Visitors & Governors, so the partnership is not entirely new. However, Matthews’ duties as assistant to the pres- ident for special projects may extend past the time when Griswold steps down as interim president.
“The project that I am focusing on this year is likely to continue for many years. Whether or not I will continue as the point person on the project will be up to the next president,” he said.
The project in question is related to Waterfront development. Matthews said that his expertise in athletics is somewhat applicable to these special projects because of this. “The boathouse project is a significant part of the Waterfront development so in that sense it is related to athletics. There is poten- tial for other pieces of the waterfront development that is not related to athletics that I am also working on.”
Matthews could not discuss much in the way of specifics. He said, “Its a little early to discuss the fu- ture projects as they are in the exploratory phase at this time,” but Griswold said that focus and money will be directed toward the Waterfront because it is “a huge priority for the College and the Town.”
Other major reorganizations occurred in the Office of Information Technology (OIT). These in- cluded appointing Mark Hampton, vice president for Finance and Administration as head of the of- fice and conferring Ruth Shoge the title of dean of Library and Academic Technology. In addition, the search has begun to replace Billie Dodge as chief in- formation officer with thanks given to Cal Coursey for his work in the Interim.
Look to the next issue of The Elm for a more in- depth investigation of these changes.