New students gathered at the Alumni Plaza late August for Welcome Day in the company of administrators such as President Frank Wu, Vice President of Student Affairs Jennifer Jarvis, and Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Patricia Price. In welcoming first-year and transfer students, they proudly proclaimed a sizable expansion to the Queens College team, including 57 new faculty members, lecturers, and most notably several new administrative appointments.
“Student and faculty academic support will be reinvigorated as the college welcomes talented, diverse, and committed leadership in key roles,” Price told The Knight News.
As Queens College begins the new academic year, it may be easy for changes in leadership to fade into the background. So who are these new administrators? What will they be doing?
Nathalia Holtzman, previously serving as interim, now holds the position of associate provost for student success and innovation after a nation-wide search held by Queens College. Holtzman’s portfolio encompasses an array of academic resources and support services aimed at enhancing the student experience, including First Year Experience, Center for Career Engagement and Internships, and Honors and Scholarships.
Residents of the Summit Apartments may have already gotten acquainted with Omari Miller, new assistant director for residential life. With long-term experience in on-campus housing, ranging from his time as senior resident assistant at SUNY Delhi to director of residence life at Mary Baldwin University in Virginia, “He seeks to provide students with opportunities to thrive through community engagement, programming, and holistic support,” said Sean Pierce, interim assistant vice president for student affairs.
Craig Blodgett has moved from his position as associate director of residence life to his new role of interim director of Student Development and Leadership. Blodgett will oversee student functions such as managing campus clubs, the Knights Table Food Pantry, and volunteer programs, according to a Queens College’s press release.
Former associate dean and chief librarian of Queens’ Rosenthal Library Simone Yearwood has assumed the role of interim dean of faculty for the school of arts and humanities following William McClure’s departure early July. Yearwood will be working with faculty in implementing new student programs.
“I would like to see more interdisciplinary programs which can provide students with a broader skill set and provide a deeper understanding of the real-world,” Yearwood said. “I would like to create a sense of belonging to our diverse student population.”
After serving as faculty dean associate of the school of humanities and social sciences at CUNY Brooklyn College, Yung-Yi Diana Pan joins Queens College as the interim executive director of the Asian/Asian American Research Institute. With a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Pan is known for her community engagement. She serves on the Westchester County Asian American Advisory Board, which evaluates county policies and programs for their impact on Asian-Americans and advises the Board of Legislators on such matters.
Replacing Meghan Healey, Maria DeLongoria assumes the role of interim associate provost for academic and faculty affairs. Her previous job locations include CUNY City College, SUNY Suffolk County Community College, and most recently CUNY Medgar Evers College for seven years.
With three interim appointments, it is worth noting that these positions typically only last a year or two while the college continues to search for a permanent hire — or an official elevation for said individual. Though most administrators are hired via a competitive, nationwide job search, “The college uses search waivers in lieu of a search when there is an interim or substitute in the position that has been identified as the best fit for the position. This individual usually has a specialized skillset and/or a diverse background that the college would be highly unlikely to recruit or replicate in the open market,” said Price.“Every year, almost 50 faculty leave for some reason [or another,]” President Wu said in a meeting with The Knight News on October 4, “We’re really cutting down on how many we replace.” He went on to explain that this influx of new faculty and administrators will not be recurrent. President Wu revealed that he has only authorized eight additional hires for next year.