Micah Wilkins, Echo Online Writer
The position of assistant dean of student life, formerly held by Sherolyn Hopkins, was eliminated at the beginning of the semester. Hopkins left Warren Wilson soon after Spring Break, leaving her position vacant for the remainder of the term.
Dean of Students Deb Myers and the four area coordinators (ACs) will carry out Hopkins’ original responsibilities for the rest of this school year.
“I was notified, by letter, around January 1 that my position was being eliminated,” Hopkins said, “and so, being told that, I went on the job search.”
Hopkins has been at the college since the fall of 2005, first as director of residence life and later taking on the responsibilities of director of housing and residence life.
Hopkins and former Dean of Students Cathy Kramer worked to create the area coordinator system that was implemented this fall. For years, Hopkins and Kramer envisioned a full-time “RD-like figure” in Sunderland, “to address issues with first-year students, a critical area that needed addressing,” as Hopkins phrased it.
Hopkins made an effort to promote student involvement and accountability.
“I think that it’s changed a lot in terms of working closely with former dean of students,” Hopkins said. “We’ve put a lot of systems in place of holding students accountable for housing and conduct and creating a better community for students to live in.”
This year, Hopkins supervised four area coordinators, providing support and help where needed.
“I have more support staff and I’ve been able to delegate out things that I’ve had to do in the past,” Hopkins said. “The AC changes are definitely better because we have more support. Where I was having to do a lot of supervision and training, I now have four people under me to do that, so that’s been a definite positive.”
Though Hopkins could have finished her contract, which expires at the end of the semester, she decided instead to resign once she found another job. Next year, Hopkins will take the position of director of residence life at Florida Keys Community College.
“Who wouldn’t want to leave for Key West?” Hopkins said. “If you have to leave Asheville, you have to go somewhere that’s pretty amazing. I figure it’s a pretty good trade, and it’s a fantastic opportunity.”
The administration hopes to find a director of residence life who will take on much of Hopkins’s former responsibilities, the description of which was posted online after Hopkins’s departure.
“[The responsibilities] include the supervision of professional residence life staff, oversight and conduct system for residential students and implementation of a student staff program,” the job description states.