University News

U. looks to identify top VP candidates by November

Committee searches for candidates who value diversity, sexual assault policy, campus culture

Senior Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The 10-person search committee working to identify Margaret Klawunn’s successor as vice president for campus life and student services hopes to submit a finalized set of candidate recommendations to President Christina Paxson P’19 in November, said Nancy Barnett, chair of the committee and professor of behavioral and social sciences.

Klawunn left Brown in August, and MaryLou McMillan and Mary Grace Almandrez have fulfilled the position’s duties on an interim basis since then.

Administrators aim to fill the position by the end of this semester, said Cass Cliatt, vice president for communications.

But while the goal is to have the new vice president’s contract finalized by the end of the fall semester, the start date “will depend entirely on that person’s availability,” Barnett said, adding that the person ideally will start no later than fall 2016.

The University has retained the services of Storbeck Pimentel and Associates, an executive search consulting firm that is facilitating the national search by advertising the vice president position and identifying candidates. “We have used different firms for a lot of different searches,” Cliatt said.

“There are a number of responsibilities this administrator will have, and the candidates need to show expertise in having managed those issues before,” Barnett said.

The vice president for campus life and student services oversees the Office of Student Life, Student and Employee Accessibility Services, Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Brown Center for Students of Color and the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center.

“It is crucial that we can find a vice president who can connect with and support Brown student life in all of these different parts of campus,” said Sazzy Gourley ’16, president of the Undergraduate Council of Students and a member of the search committee.

In addition to the position’s wide breadth of responsibility, “it’s an important element of the vice president’s job to work in collaboration with the Title IX Program Officer,” Barnett said. Interviews with candidates will “no doubt include questions about Title IX and conduct-related issues,” she added.

“It’s imperative that this person can speak to the nuances related to issues like sexual assault, mental health, our racial climate and the queer community,” Gourley said, adding that the person “must also be committed to prioritizing the needs of students from marginalized backgrounds.”

As the University works to incorporate the recommendations from the Task Force on Sexual Assault report and the Mental Health Community Council report, the new vice president “needs to feel comfortable coming in and immediately implementing all of these changes on the intended timeline,” Gourley said.

  • Klaun Sohn

    Brown University is looking for somebody who can cover their arses more effectively that Klawunn.