Warren Wilson College News

January 2007 Report to Campus

By: Sandy Pfeiffer
I’m sending this month’s report a bit earlier than usual because it contains some important announcements, several of which I mentioned this week at Staff Forum.


I’m very pleased to announce that Rodney Lytle, a 1973 graduate of Warren Wilson and a long-time employee of the College, has agreed to accept the position as director of multicultural affairs, effective July 1, 2007. Currently, Rodney is assisting with various multicultural-related activities, in addition to supervising the
Heavy-Duty Crew. As of this coming July, he will devote all his work time to the cause of multiculturalism on campus and will report directly to me for the time being. Though we’re still crafting his final job description, his work will involve all aspects of the life of the College—for example, faculty, staff, and student recruitment; student programs; alumni relations and fundraising; and community relations. Providing advisory support for Rodney will be the Administrative Council, as well as the Diversity Task Force (chaired by Cathy Kramer).


Two major changes recently occurred that relate to the ELC. First, the ELC conducted an internal assessment as part of a College-wide effort to evaluate all academic and nonacademic programs. Second, this week John Huie announced his resignation as the ELC’s executive director, effective June 28, 2007. His retirement from the College will end a very successful tenure during which he led the ELC in its first decade. Let me emphasize that the College will use John’s ten years of fine work as a springboard for increasing our support of the ELC’s mission with respect to environmentalism and sustainability. Indeed, the work of the ELC will become even more integrated into the academic and nonacademic programs at Warren Wilson. The current associate director of the ELC, Margo Flood, has agreed to accept the position of director and will be reporting to Interim VPAA John Casey. Margo and the rest of the ELC staff will be using the just-completed self-study, and the administration’s response to it, to expand the work of the Center. Soon John Casey will provide additional details about the exciting times ahead for the ELC.


This week Carla Sutherland announced her retirement from the position of vice president of college relations, effective June 30, 2007. Carla has led many successful fundraising efforts at Warren Wilson, and I want to thank her for 15 years of excellent service to the College. In the next few months, Carla and I will be spending much of our time reaching out to many friends of the College, to provide a smooth transition to the next phase of work in College Relations. She also will be actively involved in the Board of Trustees meeting on February 8-9, which will focus on future fundraising efforts. Soon we’ll begin a search for a new vice president for college relations.


I’ve previously mentioned that I believe Warren Wilson needs a member of the staff whose sole job is to help locate, screen, and respond to all types of grant opportunities. Although the College has had some success with grant-writing, the activity too often occurs as an after-thought and requires huge time investments by employees who already have full-time jobs on campus. Thus we miss many chances to attract grants that would benefit the College. Beginning work some time after July 1, our new grant writer will report to the vice president for college relations but will work closely with the dean of the college and other senior officers. I hope that special attention will be given to grants that involve environmentalism and sustainability.


At Staff Forum I mentioned that I was asked to prepare a tentative list of funding priorities, to help advance the discussion at the February Board of Trustees meeting about a future comprehensive campaign. I emphasized that the list is tentative and only intended for discussion at the meeting. Any final list will be developed and discussed by the members of the campus community before it becomes the basis for a campaign. The unranked, tentative list of seven priorities that I mentioned at Staff Forum is as follows: (1) new classroom building, (2) scholarships, (3) faculty and staff positions and salary increases, (4) faculty and staff development, (5) student space on campus, (6) endowment, and (7) miscellaneous capital expenses.

Let me close on a musical note by calling your attention to a wonderful event that Evelyn and I attended last night. The Music Department hosted a faculty recital that included performances by Milton Crotts, Akira Satake, Phil Jamison, Laura Lengnick, Warren Gaughan, Jane McCoy, Adele Holevas, and Steven Williams. We heard Bluegrass, classical piano, jazz piano, bassoon and banjo, piano duets, and more. And it proved to be one more reason why this College is such a special place.

All the best,

Sandy Pfeiffer


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