The department of Campus Activities and the office of the Vice President of Student Life are poised to begin the hiring process to find a replacement for Pam Mirabelli, the acting director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs. The search for a replacement with both a master’s degree and several years of career experience began during the week of April 2.
According to Tim Asher, associate director of the department of Campus Activities, the requirements of a master’s degree and career experience are not new to the position. Asher said that the position was “designed to be filled” by an employee with these credentials. The decision to search for a more qualified replacement serves as reversion back to previously established criteria.
Mirabelli’s contract with the College will expire at the end of the 2007 academic year. “When I was hired I did know the position was temporary,” Mirabelli said.
According to Daniel Gaughan, Inter-Greek Council (IGC) president, members of the campus Greek community are concerned about replacing Mirabelli on such short notice.
“The Greek community’s concern is that the College did not start this search earlier and there is not enough time to find a pool of qualified candidates, properly interview them, hire the best candidate and allow time for Mirabelli to transition this person into the Greek community,” Gaughan said.
Asher did not express the same concern and added that “Greeks will certainly be involved in (the hiring) process.”
IGC reacted to the decision by creating a letter that, according to Gaughan, was “written in support of Mirabelli’s (retention) for next year.” However, Gaughan said not all Greek chapters of IGC signed the letter.
“Twenty-four out of 27 chapters signed the letter,” Gaughan said. “Reasons given for not signing were Mirabelli’s lack of experience, (her) close ties to this Greek community and (her display of) favoritism towards certain chapters.”
When asked to elaborate on this statement, both Gaughan and Asher declined to comment. Asher did express his appreciation for the work of both Stout and Mirabelli and said the search for new candidates will begin before the academic year comes to a close.
Asher said the position has been held by two temporary candidates over the past two years. Tim Wilkinson served as director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs from 2001 until 2005. Wilkinson was hired having attained both a master’s degree in college student personnel and several years of career experience. In August 2005, Wilkinson left the position without providing “enough time to do a full search.”
This prompted College administrators to hire Stout. According to Asher, Stout was brought in as a “temporary hire” for the purpose of filling the vacancy. Stout, an undergraduate from the College, had attained his master’s degree from Rider University but lacked the necessary career experience. Asher added that “this was (Stout’s) first job.”
During Stout’s year at the College, the search continued for a candidate who met all of the original requirements. Asher said Stout was among the two final candidates selected for the position; however, New Jersey state budget cuts to funding for higher education impacted the hiring process. Asher said the funds for a candidate with both a master’s degree and career experience were not available.
In light of the budget cuts, the College was forced to “downgrade” the requirements for the position to only a bachelor’s degree temporarily for one additional year. As a result, Stout was offered and then accepted another job opportunity elsewhere. The position was vacant once again and needed to be filled.
Mirabelli was hired in 2006 to fill the vacancy for one year. She had previously worked as a graduate assistant for the College and had sought employment elsewhere. She returned to work for the College as director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs to continue her post-graduate education as well as gain career experience.
“If asked to remain in my position for one more year I would definitely do so,” she said.