New executive position to be filled

Story by Frank Pellegrino

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UW-Eau Claire has found a need for a new executive position, and a panel has already begun its search to fill the opening.

Beth Hellwig, who currently holds the title of vice chancellor for student affairs/dean of students, will have her position split in two, and she will only hold the title of vice chancellor for student affairs. Dean of students will then become its own position.

During the Feb. 2 University Senate meeting the need for the new position was discussed. The meeting minutes of the conversation summarize why there was a need for the new position.

“Currently Beth Hellwig is holding the Vice Chancellor and the dean of students title and she cannot be both to the full ability that she would like to,” the minutes said.

Daven Raj, who is the undergraduate student representative on the panel, thought it was just too much for one person to handle.

“There is so much responsibility for what the vice chancellor and dean of students have to do,” Raj said. “Especially with how many cases are coming in on an everyday basis, the dean of students are running thin with how much they can do.”

Raj added that it will not only make things easier for Hellwig and whoever fills the dean of students position, but it will also make things easier for students.

“I know currently Jodi (Thesing Ritter, the associate dean of students) basically has to see somebody new every 15 minutes or so,” Raj said. “This position will definitely open up more time for them to see more people and pay more attention to individual students.”

Ten people are on the Searching committee for the new dean of students, and Vicki Reed, chair of the committee, said there is a wide-variety represented.

“The committee itself is made up of a really well-rounded group of people,” Reed said. “We have faculty represented, an undergraduate student, a graduate student, a classified staff member and an academic staff.”

Applications for the committee are due March 29.

Reed said some applications have already been received, and they’ve come from a variety of places.

“It’s a nationwide search, so it’s open for anybody to apply,” Reed said.

Raj said he couldn’t get into the specifics to what he was personally looking for, but said he didn’t just want to hire someone that fit only what he wanted.

“I want to talk to different groups of students to see what input I can get to see what they want,” Raj said, “because the dean of students is supposed to be there for the students.”

The University Senate minutes stated that the scheduled start date was July 1. However, Reed and Raj said they just hoped the person was in place by the end of the summer. Raj also pointed out that it is possible the right candidate will not be found, and they will have to start the search over.

It is unsure exactly how much the new position will cost, but Reed said it will depend on who the person is.

“The salary rating will be somewhat commenced with experience,” Reed said.

According to the University Senate meeting minutes, the money will not result in additional costs and will come from student segregated fees and residence life.

Raj said he is excited to see what comes from the search.

“I’m really looking forward to the process,” Raj said. “I definitely want to get someone who is capable and will work to the best of their abilities.”

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