Student Life positions to be cut, changed

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    By TEONEI SALWA

    Student Leadership Development, a division of Student Life, will undergo reorganization this summer, including the elimination of the division’s managing director position, said Student Life Vice President Alton Wade.

    Student Leadership Development is responsible for the Ernest L. Wilkinson Center and most of the shops and services in it, including BYUSA, the Service Leadership Involvement Center, the Varsity Theater and Cosmo and the cheerleaders.

    Wade said changes will deal with administration more than programs.

    “Some of the programs will not be affected at all,” he said. Others will get minor adjustments as they are consolidated, he said.

    Wade emphasized that options abound but that little has been finalized so far.

    Wade has decided to get closer, administratively, to the various areas of Student Life, he said.

    “Instead of me now having three people answer to me — the dean of students, the assistant vice president for SAS and the chief of University Police — there will be six or seven answering to me in the future,” Wade said.

    Student Leadership Development’s business operations, such as Outdoors Unlimited and Cougar Creations, will move to Student Auxiliary Services, he said. Some of the other programs currently under Student Leadership Development will be under the dean of students, Wade said.

    Wade said it has not yet been decided what Tammie Quick, managing director of Student Leadership Development, will do once her position is dissolved. Quick is also associate dean of Student Life. “There are some options for her,” he said.

    Wade said this newest reorganization is only part of the greater changes going on in Student Life, of which Student Leadership Development is a part. At the end of March, Wade announced that Maren Mouritsen would be rotated from her position as assistant Student Life vice president and dean of Student Life.

    Wade said he has a rough idea for the new organization but it is “still too fluid” to be released. He feared that once people see the proposed ideas, they will accept them as fact, making it difficult to make changes from there.

    The advertisement of the opening in the dean of students position is the only action that has been taken so far, he said. “Nothing else has happened.”

    Mouritsen and Quick will continue in their positions until the reorganization is completed, he said.

    Remaking Student Life is a process, he said, that will be completed by fall. In the meantime, Wade said he has met with key leaders in Student Life and has heard their ideas.

    “I have been meeting with them along the way as I have introduced the structure,” he said. “They are all aware of what is going on.”

    Additionally, each change will be approved by the President’s Council before it is implemented, Wade said.

    “The concept of the restructuring has been approved through the President’s Council,” he said.

    Wade, who came to BYU as vice president of Student Life two years ago, decided to make some changes in his department for several reasons.

    First, the Self-Study report and the re-accreditation team that visited the university last semester indicated that campuswide, administrative levels should be flattened to allow for better communication up and down, Wade said.

    Second, Wade said his personal style is to work with fewer levels and layers.

    “I feel too far removed from the students and the personnel in the departments of Student Life,” he said. With the upcoming reorganization, “hopefully communication and efficiency will increase.”

    Mouritsen said the approach to running the programs now in Student Leadership Development will have to be considered carefully.

    “There are a number of ways in which student affairs can be organized,” she said. “There’s always been a dynamic tension between the programmatic aspect of student affairs and the business aspect of student affairs, and my hope is that under President Wade, the administrative structure will be shaped in such a way to reflect student needs.”

    Quick is worried about the future of the programs she is currently responsible for.

    “I’m not sure we’ll have Student Leadership Development (when plans are finalized),” she said. “Basically what they’ve done is eliminate the department and put things over in Student Auxiliary Services.”

    Quick said she has nothing to do with making these decisions for her department.

    “He told me that I was being asked to leave that position,” she said.

    Quick has been managing director of Student Leadership Development since 1987 and associate dean since 1991. She started at BYU as director of the Ernest L. Wilkinson Center 11 years ago.

    “Everybody’s afraid right now — a classic reorganization thing,” Quick said.

    Mouritsen has not yet decided what she will do in the fall, but she expects to sit where she is until the end of August, which is also the end of the fiscal year. She will probably take on full-time faculty status in the fall, she said. Wade has not offered her another position in Student Life, she said.

    “He’s pretty much left it in my court,” she said.

    Mouritsen’s position is being advertised across campus and was in the Church News Saturday. The position will be different from the current dean of Student Life job because of the pending administrative changes, Wade said. Applications are due early next month.

    Quick said Wade told her she could apply for the dean of students position, which with the changes coming to that job would be basically like applying for her own job with a couple of additions, she said.

    He also told her she could apply for the director of training in Student Auxiliary Services, Quick said.

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