The Office of Campus and Student Life may be an undergraduate’s greatest advocate, and its recent growth and increased prominence on campus under the leadership of Kimberly Goff-Crews has been more than welcome to students. However, unfortunately timed personnel changes and the failure to rapidly carry out a contingency plan could put the department’s forward momentum in jeopardy and leave student activities to suffer.
As the Maroon reported over break, and in a University e-mail sent to students yesterday, Goff-Crews announced that she will be vacating her position at the end of this academic year. She will be accepting a similar position at Yale University, her alma mater. This news alone is grounds for concern. Over the past four years Goff-Crews presided over the completion of the South Campus Residence Hall and Dining Commons, the growth of programs seeking to better serve the multicultural and LGBTQ populations, and a comprehensive revamping of student care options for health and mental wellness. Goff-Crews also played a role in creating the official University policy regarding financial aid for undocumented immigrants—sidestepping the University’s policy against making political statements in an honorable effort to support its own students.
Additionally, she has worked hard to engage with students: Her quarterly meetings alongside President Robert Zimmer and the occasional op-ed piece she pens for the Maroon have made her one of the most visible administrators on campus.
But the timing of Goff-Crews’s resignation could not have been worse. Sharlene Holly recently stepped down as Director of ORCSA after the Office of Campus and Student Life announced the creation of a new Director of Student Life position, which will oversee ORCSA in the future. However, that position has not yet been filled, leaving the Reynolds Club without a 10-year director who was also one of the most visible administrators on campus. This is in addition to the many adviser positions in ORCSA that have been left vacant in an unusual period of transitional flux.
Although the Office of Campus and Student Life intends to improve student services in the long-run, this hectic transition will undoubtedly hurt student activities in the short-term and current students are the ones who will likely see a step-down from the improvements introduced in Goff-Crews’s leadership. To at least limit the effects of the transition, the University should quickly launch a search for a replacement and put her in place before summer in order to shadow Goff-Crews. Additionally, the Office of Campus and Student Life should focus on filling positions at ORCSA and place as much emphasis on the present as it does on the future.
The Editorial Board consists of the Editor-in-Chief, Viewpoints Editors, and an additional Editorial Board member.