Friday, July 9, 2010
Becoming a Gettysburg College Dean
The 1991 1992 academic year I learned a very simple but important lesson—someone is always watching you so do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. I worked under the dean of the Department of Intercultural Advancement (charged with the recruitment and retention of black, Latino, and Asian students, and campus diversity activities) at G-burg that overtime had gotten out disfavor with school administrators. One day in the spring semester Mr. Van Arsdale (Van as we called him), one of the associated vice presidents asked me to come to his office for a meeting. I played lacrosse against is son Mark at Hobart, Mark is now the Associate Head Lacrosse Coach at the University Virginia. Van explained to me the issues with the dean and that the school decided to remove him from his position. Van than proceeded to tell me that he and other schools officials had been watching me and liked what they saw and then asked if would consider serving as interim dean. I had just completed my MA in history and I was 28. I had applied to Ph.D. programs in history earlier that year and I was waiting for acceptance notices. On the advice of my thesis advisor at Ship Sarah Hughes, I took the interim position. I also continued to serve as the defensive coordinator for college's men's lacrosse team.