The college is finishing its hiring process for a new Vice President for Finance and Administration and a new Chief Diversity Officer. The committees have conducted national searches, narrowing the pool down to three and five candidates, respectively, to assess, pending President Denise Battles’s final decision.
The national search for VPFA began after Jim Milroy retired from the position at the end of November. Former President of the University of Mary Washington Richard Hurley was brought in to serve as interim vice president while the search proceeded.
The CDO position was created following the departure of Assistant to the President for Diversity & Equity and Director of Affirmative Action Adrienne Collier, according to an April 26, 2017 email to all students from Battles. Collier’s responsibilities were diverted to Title IX Coordinator Tamara Kenney and the new position, the email said. The search for the new officer began in fall 2017, while robbie routenberg has filled the role of CDO on an interim basis, according to a May 11, 2017 email to all students from Battles.
“I think [the process] has gone well. The search committee is a really excellent search committee,” Vice President of Enrollment Management and Chair of the search committee for VPFA Meaghan Arena said. “The group is very thorough, we have a good sense of who we’re looking for, we work well together [and] we’ve had a good time on the search committee, which is sometimes unusual.”
The candidates for the CDO position—Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity Initiatives at Centre College Rodmon King, CDO of Evansville LaNeeça Williams and routenberg—participated in open forums in late March.
Contenders for the VPFA position include Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Enrollment Management at Binghamton University Anna Addonisio and Vice President of Administration and Treasurer at Cayuga Community College Daniel DoBell. The other three candidates are Assistant Vice President for Finance and Management at SUNY Brockport Karen Riotto, Vice President of Finance and Administration at Lourdes University Robert Rood and Executive Director at Campus Auxiliary Services Mark Scott. These individuals participated in open forums before and after spring break in March, according to Arena.
While the VPFA search committee originally narrowed the pool to four candidates, they decided to re-examine the applicants and found that Scott, who will participate in a Thursday April 19 open forum, is a viable option, according to Arena.
“Initially we brought four candidates to campus, after we conducted a national search and narrowed it to the four … but because this is such an important cabinet level position, the search committee [decided] to take one last look at the pool,” Arena said. “Sure enough, there were some candidates who applied after we had begun reviewing. From those candidates, we found one who we felt would be on par with the other candidates.”
Once the participants at the open forum provide feedback for the fifth candidate, the VPFA search committee will assess the values of each candidate and send the information to Battles for her final decision on who to choose, according to Arena.
Two students have positions on each of the search committees, according to Student Association President and member of the VPFA search committee senior Kaitlin Pfundstein. Pfundstein appreciated the voice she had on the committee.
“I think being able to ask some of the questions we asked from the perspective of a student kind of changed the answers that we would have heard if they had been asked by people who were not students,” Pfundstein said. “I’ve been on other search committees and I did feel very well respected, not only by the rest of the search committee, but by the candidates as well.”
SA Director of Student Affairs and member of the CDO search committee senior Alberto Alonso said that the students provided an important side to the committee.
“It was interesting to come up with questions to ask the candidates who we would bring to campus. The person who was chairing the committee would always turn to the student representatives and ask ‘do you think this is a good question,’ and it helped get the validation because sometimes student representation was amiss during questions,” Alonso said. “It was interesting getting a chance to provide that input.”
SA Director of Business Affairs and member of the VPFA search committee senior Supriya Juneja identified the common goals that the search committee had.
“We all want the candidate who is the best fit for Geneseo, who we can see displays our values and can do the job effectively and efficiently,” Juneja said. “Going into that committee meeting where it’s all laid out like that, made it much easier to work with everybody and find a consensus."