Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Power outage rocks campus
Power outage rocks campus
Jack Brandt September 13, 2023

President’s cabinet features new faces


The President’s Cabinet has had five major position changes since last spring. Two positions have been hired from outside the college: Dr. Monica Smith as the Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Dr. Wesley Brooks as the new Vice President and Dean of Student Life.
Three positions have been hired from within Augustana including Wendy Hilton-Morrow as the new Vice President of Academic Affairs, Provost and Dean of the College, and Jessica Schultz and Mike Egan as new Associate Deans. Most of these changes are due to staff leaving or retiring. Dr. Smith started her work last spring, and Dr. Brooks’ first day was August 13.
“My time thus far has been great,” Brooks said in an email, “It’s been fast paced and I feel I’ve learned a lot but am pleased to find much of what I’ve worked through during my first month has been similar to my work and roles at previous institutions. I’m learning more about Augustana College every day and I look very forward to the future.”
When asked what he plans to do this year, Brooks said he wants to continue to understand how Augustana functions as an institution and “what students enjoy, value and cherish” so he can provide a better experience for them.
“The life of a provost is definitely fast-paced,” Hilton-Morrow said in an email, “but I’ve been blessed to have the support of colleagues from across campus as I’ve transitioned into my new role. Of course my primary focus over this next year is ensuring a smooth transition to semesters.” She will also work on expanding academic programs and working on transfer agreements with local community colleges.
“It’s been interesting seeing a ‘bigger picture’ of the college’s many approaches to teaching and learning,” Egan said. “Also, as I learned long ago, being content in a job often has more to do with the people you work with rather than the tasks you are performing. I’m enjoying the new work.” Egan will focus mostly on working with staff and their curriculum.
“While I miss the classroom deeply, I am excited by the collaborative work I am doing in support of our college-wide mission to prepare students for a ‘rewarding life of leadership and service in a diverse and changing world,” Dr. Schultz said.
Emails regarding the new VPs had been sent out to the school, but many students weren’t aware of what the positions entailed, including Ezekiel Jakubowski, a transgender first-year student: “I’ve felt very welcomed so far. The only time I haven’t is on my floor. I’m on an all-male floor, which is where I want to be.” Jakubowski recommends the new administration go out and interact with the students to give a face to their positions.
Senior Daniel Williams had heard about some of the new changes: “I like the idea that professors are getting promoted instead of hiring people outside the college. It helps since we already have a connection with them.”
Students are more likely to be interacting with the VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Dean of Students since Smith and Brooks deal with student issues daily.
Because the changes were made due to the departure of administrators, the Director of Public Relations Ashleigh Johnston doesn’t anticipate any more changes anytime soon.
Graphic above by Cora Lamb.

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President’s cabinet features new faces