Major Shake-Ups in Administration to Kick Off New School Year

by Rose Brennan, Gabriella DePinho & Alexa Schmidt, A&E Editor, News Editor & Features Editor

Carey Out, Goodman Leaves Res Life, French Joins Engineering School

Manhattan College kicked off its 2019-2020 school year with some fairly major changes in its upper-level administration roster.

These major changes are occurring in every corner on campus. The position of Dean of Students is currently vacant, with former dean, Michael Carey, no longer an employee of the college. AJ Goodman, former associate director of residence life is the college’s new assistant dean of students. Tiffany French, former assistant dean of students, has taken a new position as the assistant dean of the School of Engineering.

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French saw the job opening online. She already had experience working with Dean Tim Ward, and thought it was a good opportunity to stay with the colleagues and students she knew.

“I was looking for a bit of a different change for personal professional reasons. I worked in that job for a couple of years. I actually started taking a data intensive science course online, so I had a bit of an interest in possibly computer science or computer engineering, so I worked on that. I wanted a job that could kind of bring me a little closer to that end of the spectrum. I found my way here. I was looking for a few different opportunities, this one came up, and it kept me at Manhattan, which I was really excited about,” French said.

So far, the year has been busy with freshmen and transfer student questions about schedules and adding or dropping classes.

“It’s ongoing academic advising, and as things come up for students, where maybe they’re not doing well in a class, or they need some additional guidance or referrals or support on campus, that’s what we’re here to do. It’s really kind of troubleshooting with folks as the semester goes on, to help them do the best they can, or get what they need to do the best they can, and beyond that, it’s all the odds and ends for anyone in engineering that needs something,” French said.

French received her masters in psychology, which means that she could potentially teach a class down the road. She also said her new schedule could allow her to take more classes in her spare time.

“I like higher ed in general, so it’s kind of good to just get experience on the academic side of the house as well as student life because then you can be a balanced leader in the future, and that’s what I hope to keep doing. I know the difference folks made for me when I was in college, so I just want to keep doing that for students while I’m here,” French said.

In addition to serving as assistant dean, French is also one of the Green Dot trainers on campus. Green Dot is a violence prevention program that focuses on helping bystanders to become active members in reducing power-based personal violence.

“That is one thing that Dean Ward was really happy to have me continue while I’m in my new role… So far, in my time here, we’ve trained about 1,300 people, so we look to keep that number growing a lot,” French said. 

French’s transition to the School of Engineering left her previous position of assistant dean of students open.  The vacant position was filled by AJ Goodman of residence life.

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With AJ Goodman filling in as assistant dean of students, currently an interim position according to Satterlee, the school is able to make sure the work that the dean of students completed and oversaw is still being taken care of. Placing Goodman in the interim position was a “natural thing to do to help us during this period,” according to Satterlee.

Before taking the position of assistant dean of students, Goodman was the associate director of residence life.  In this position he served as the area coordinator for Overlook Manor, Jasper Hall and Chrysostom Hall, and organized staff and RA training.

“My new role as the assistant dean keeps me in close proximity to Residence Life both in my office being down the hall in Thomas, and in the work which includes oversight of the judicial process and working to address student concerns,” Goodman said.

Goodman filled the position of assistant dean of students just prior to the beginning of the school year.

“I met with Dr. Satterlee the week prior to classes starting to discuss the role and plans for the year,” Goodman said.  “I accepted the position at that time.  With extensive experience as a hearing officer and familiarity with the Community Standards and Student Code of Conduct, as well as working with students of concern at Manhattan, I feel prepared to take on this position.”

As the assistant dean of students, Goodman’s new responsibilities include overseeing the Community Standards and Student Code of Conduct and serving as the judicial hearing officer for cases outside of usual residence life judicial hearings, as well as off-campus incidents which violate MC’s “Good Neighbor policy.”

Unlike French’s switch, the Dean of Students vacancy was one the school was not quite as prepared for, with Carey leaving the school just a short time before the semester was set to start.

“The position became vacant in late summer, late August actually. That happens from time to time with key administrative positions. The really thing good thing was that I think we’ve got really good personnel in student life so fortunately I was able to, with some interim shifting of responsibilities, able to cover the responsibilities with existing staff,” said Richard Satterlee, the Vice President of Student Life.  Satterlee is the administrator to whom the dean of students reports.

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With Goodman in the position of assistant dean, Satterlee is set to start the search for a new dean of students as soon as possible but the position will see a change: the new hiree will be both dean of students and associate vice president. The offices of Residence Life, Health Services and the Counseling Center will all report to the associate vice president.

The search for such a key administrator will be an inclusive process, including faculty, staff, student life personnel and even a bit of student input, especially later in the process. Satterlee is excited to start the process.

“I think we’re going to be able to really get strong candidates for this. I mean we’re a school that has a great trajectory right now. We’ve got really strong students. We’ve had an academic profile that’s increased. Our place in New York City is going to be attractive to people but we want to make sure we attract the best possible candidates to that. It’s worth getting advertising out there and getting the word out there, attracting the best possible candidate pool that we can,” said Satterlee.

While Satterlee is excited to start looking into qualified candidates, he is keeping his eyes peeled for some key qualities he would like to see in the pool.

“There’s really two things [we’re looking for]. First is the core responsibilities as dean include student conduct, understanding best practices in working with judicating conduct matters, understanding how to shape the code of conduct, understanding how we would do this, being a fit for Manhattan College, as a Lasallian Catholic institution. It’s demanding work to conduct work and that’s a core responsibility of the dean of students,” said Satterlee.

He continued.

“I’m really looking for someone who can do the dean’s work and also supervise those areas [of Residence Life, Health Services and the Counseling Center],” said Satterlee.

In addition to handling the key responsibilities of the position, Satterlee has one more quality he would like to see in the candidate pool.

“The other thing [we’re looking for] is intangible and not in the job description but we want somebody who is visible and present to students a lot, that’s seen in and around campus, that students know, is an advocate for students and understands students’ needs in these areas. I think it’s really important,” said Satterlee.