Searching for a new women’s director

Brittany Wasko

The search committee for a director for the Women’s Resource Center is conducting its first of five all-day interviews with candidates today. Students and faculty are welcome to attend the open interview sessions.

Candidates for the director have been narrowed down to five applicants. Each woman will go through an entire day of interviewing, including sessions with the search committee, the Women’s Resource Advisory Council and staff, Women’s Studies faculty, directors of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, associate vice president of student affairs and dean of students Greg Jarvie and Vice President Pete Goldsmith.

Students and faculty have the opportunity to attend and ask questions during each interview. From 1 to 2 p.m. anyone can attend the open session, and from 3 to 4 p.m. a student session will take place; both are located in the Student Center. Today’s sessions will take place in Room 320, and Tuesday’s will be in Room 304. Cheryl Smith, associate dean of students and student ombuds, said students are strongly encouraged to attend.

“In any of the interview sessions it will be a very similar format,” Smith said. “There’s usually a request for the candidate to very briefly explain about their background and why they’re interested in the position. Often the candidates will also ask questions of people in attendance — especially students.”

Because this is an important position that touches many areas of the university, opinions of the faculty are significant, Smith said.

The councils, committees and other faculty who plan to sit in on the interviews will complete candidate evaluations that will be reviewed by Jarvie and Goldsmith, who will then make the final decision, Smith said.

“It’s important to the search committee, and it’s important to the leadership of the division that we receive feedback from a broad representation of the university community,” she said.

Smith said the potential of the Women’s Resource Center is limitless, and that it is the job of the director to find out the needs and interests that the students, faculty and community look to the center for.

“It also falls on the director to be the creative mind that goes beyond that box,” she said. “And looks at what else is there that the center can provide or the center can give to the university that will make it a better place.”

The center has not had a director since the beginning of the fall semester. During this time, changes to the job description have been approved and the title was changed from coordinator to director. It is also now a 10-month position instead of 12, which is because of slower activity during some parts of the year.

Smith said rapid transition to fill new positions is hard on any department.

“We were hopeful that we could have moved the search forward more quickly and filled it more quickly,” she said. “But search processes at the university can be cumbersome and we wanted to do it right, and we wanted time to solicit a candidate pool.”

The position was nationally posted through a variety of publications and organizations after the changes within the job description were approved. Applications were then accepted, and the search committee held its first meeting Nov. 16. After 39 applications were received, 10 phone interviews were conducted by the whole committee in conference call format.

“That shows the dedication of this search committee — to have the entire committee present for all the phone calls,” Smith said. “And technically the search is still open, and we’re still receiving applications. The search is considered open until the position is filled.”

Today’s candidate: Erin Corwin

• Current Associate Director of Oberlin College Office of Career Services

• Wrote updated constitution, budget and publicity materials to re-launch PRIDE at University of Arkansas

Tomorrow’s candidate: Randi Schneider

• Current Director of Enrollment Management and Student Services, Trumbull campus

• Twenty years of experience in Student Affairs and Enrollment Management administration at four universities including Kent, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Kansas

Contact student life reporter Brittany Wasko at [email protected].