University News

Nozaki resigns as Swearer director

Search for new leader to begin immediately, with acting director serving on search committee

By
Senior Staff Writer
Monday, September 22, 2014

Former Director of the Swearer Center for Public Service Roger Nozaki MAT’89 has resigned and will remain in his role as a policy adviser at the U.S. Department of Education permanently, wrote Dean of the College Maud Mandel in an email to The Herald Friday.

Kate Trimble, former deputy director of the center, will continue serving as acting director until the University names Nozaki’s successor, Mandel said in an interview.

The search for a new director will begin immediately, she added.

Trimble will not apply for the permanent director position and will instead serve on the search committee, which Mandel will chair and which will include members of the Office of the Dean of the College, faculty members, students and representatives from the Office of Institutional Diversity. It will be a national search to ensure a strong range of applicants, Mandel said.

Administrators hope to interview semifinalists within the next few months and select a final candidate in the spring, Mandel said. If the search stays on schedule, the new director will assume the post July 1.

“We have a strong and capable team at Swearer that, along with Dean Mandel’s leadership, is providing great continuity to our work,” Trimble wrote in an email to The Herald. “Everyone is working hard to deliver high-quality programming and serve Brown students well with excellent advising and meaningful community engagement opportunities.”

Mandel described the importance of balancing the desire to fill the position quickly with the need to give the search the attention it deserves, heightened by the center’s relevance to President Christina Paxson’s strategic plan. “The Swearer Center is one integral part of that whole larger plan because of its focus on engaged scholarship, so we want to have a good leader in that position,” she said.

The position will require both practical leadership abilities and an understanding of the future of academic engagement in service, Mandel said, adding that an ideal candidate will have “a proven track record of providing high-level inspirational and accessible organizational leadership and management” and “a strong working knowledge of significant developments and trends in higher education around civic engagement, public service and experiential education.”

As the search advances, the Swearer Center’s goals will focus on existing projects such as the TRI-Lab and the Engaged Scholars program. “Roger charted an ambitious course for the center during his time as director and built a strong foundation,” Trimble wrote, adding that she is “focused on maintaining our momentum and progress toward those goals.”

Though four departments currently offer courses in the Engaged Scholars program, Mandel said she hopes “that the next director of the Swearer Center will develop this kind of program throughout the University and continue to develop and build the vision of engaged scholarship.”

Alan Harlam, the Swearer Center’s director of social entrepreneurship, said the center is dedicated to making its services and programs available to as many students as possible and has identified health and the environment as areas with high student demand that the center has not tapped into. “We’ve got a lot of students that are interested in working in these areas, there are many strong community partners who would be interested in working with Brown, and I see a great opportunity for us to serve both of those needs,” he said.

Nozaki was not immediately available for comment.