Section: News

Search is on for Dugas replacement

By Eric Geller

A nine-member search committee will hold its third meeting this week to discuss the hiring process for a new assistant dean of students and director of housing and residential life, with the goal of filling the position before the end of the semester.

Former Assistant Dean for Housing and Residential Life Alicia Dugas vacated the position in December.

The job application, posted by the College last week, says Kenyon is seeking “an energetic and imaginative professional who understands and values liberal arts education, appreciates how campus living can contribute to students’ overall education, and welcomes the richness that diversity of thought, experience and background can bring to student living environments.”

The growing candidate pool includes applicants who are currently serving other various residence-related positions at other schools. The candidates come from institutions in New York, Virginia, Massachusetts, Georgia and Ohio.

Samantha Hughes, director of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities and a member of the search committee, said the committee is looking for “someone who has experience in bridging the classroom learning environment with the residential learning environment.”

The College wants to hire “a visionary, somebody who is creative, who is collaborative and open to listen to dialogue,” Hughes said.

Becky Gorin ’14, a community advisor for South Campus and a search committee member, also stressed the importance of finding a director with strong collaboration skills.

“One of the big things we’re looking for is someone who’s had experience collaborating across campus,” she said. The search committee is also intent on hiring someone who has experience with the liberal arts climate.

Sam Filkins, assistant director of student activities for leadership, said that the College is looking for “somebody [who] can fit in with Kenyon and the Kenyon culture and where we in Housing [and Residential Life] could be going in the near future.”

Filkins pointed out that, over the next few years, the Office of Housing and Residential Life will see heavier-than-normal competition for apartments on campus as the unusually large Class of 2018 moves up and begins applying for that housing.

“That is a challenge that the Office will have to face,” he said.

The committee will begin formally reviewing the applicant pool on Feb. 24, discussing next steps such as phone interviews and visits to campus to meet with students and staff members.

“Ideally we’d like to have a candidate by mid-April,” Gorin said.

Hughes confirmed the committee’s tentative goal was to appoint a new director by mid-April, calling it “pretty ambitious.”

“Obviously, we made that pretty early so that if it needs to get pushed a little later, there’s still time while students are here,” she said.
Job applicants’ campus visits will probably begin after spring break, according to Filkins.


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