72°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Higher-Level Student Life Positions Being Filled

UMass Boston is in the process of hiring for three positions in the Student Affairs department. The director for student activities and leadership position has multiple candidates in the middle of interviewing, and Community Outreach and Service Learning, renamed to the Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement, is filling an opening. Also, the position of an associate vice chancellor and dean of students has been created and candidates are being sought out.

“There are committees that are carrying out the search for each position,” Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Patrick Day said. “We want faculty, staff and students to identify their needs, and we’ll find people to interview who can fulfill those needs.”

During the interview process for the associate vice chancellor and dean of students, which will be filled by one person handling both roles, there are going to be open forums during which the UMass Boston community can provide their own input on candidates and issues in an up-close and personal manner.

“We created the position of an associate vice chancellor and dean of students because it can provide a level of student interaction we don’t have right now,” Day said. “We can do a better job of meeting students’ needs. […] Larger universities have a dean of students, and currently we do not. The dean is a critical role at every university, and providing such a role is one more level of support for students.”

The director for student activities and leadership has had a small handful of people interview for the position, and they anticipate making a decision sometime this week. Day said that the position of associate vice chancellor will be made somewhere near the end of the semester.

Community Outreach and Service Learning, which encompasses programs such as the Beacon Leadership Program and the JumpStart tutoring program, is being renamed because the university wants to combine the notion of leadership with community engagement.

“We want students introduced to thinking of their connection to the community,” Day said. “We want them to realize that the idea of leadership at UMass Boston should be fundamentally involved with the community, not just being out there by themselves. We want it to mean that on this campus.”

Much emphasis is placed on student involvement when discussing the hiring of the assistant vice chancellor. It is a multi-level process, beginning with a committee bringing in three to five people for the position.

“We have and will [continue to] send calls to students to help interview the candidates,” Day said. “When [the candidates] are here, multiple people will have the chance to interview them, forward their thoughts to me, and I make the final decision. However, it is a process involves many people, and students are integral in many parts of it.”

At the very least, students will have the chance to meet with the candidates for assistant vice chancellor. Day said that the decision could be made after students leave for the semester, but anticipates it to be made in December nonetheless.

Day encourages input from the student body on things to be considered, and welcomes emails directly to his inbox.

A panel of student leaders question one potential candidate. She’s shown from behind to protect her identity, but we’ll tell you anyway: It’s current Student Life staffer Kelly Meehan. (Photo by John Kane)