Four seasoned student-affairs professionals comprise the list of finalists announced Wednesday for vice president for student affairs, one of the College of William and Mary’s most visible and influential administrative positions. Virginia Ambler ’88 Ph.D ’06, Margaret Jablonski, Dean Bresciani and Angel Martinez Loredo will visit campus this month to participate in a series of meetings with students, faculty and staff.
Government professor Clay Clemens, chair of the Search Committee, hopes to present a final pick to President Reveley by the end of April.
“The committee initially received applications from 80 candidates, and ultimately selected eight of those for interviews in March,” Clemens wrote in an e-mail. “Our overall pool was quite strong, and we are especially pleased with this short list.”
Ambler hopes to take the student affairs job permanently, as she has served as interim vice president for student affairs since Sam Sadler retired from the position in July. Ambler also acted in Sadler’s place during his recovery from surgery in winter 2008. Prior to this role, she served as the assistant vice president for student affairs from 2001 to 2008. Ambler taught a graduate course in higher education at the College last spring and serves on several College committees.
Ambler has also held student affairs posts at Franklin and Marshall College and Ohio State University. She will meet with students April 20 and 21.
Jablonski, the second finalist, announced last week that she will be stepping down in May as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill.
Jablonski has served in that post since 2004. During her tenure, she oversaw several building projects, including a new Student and Academic Services Building.
According to UNC’s Daily Tar Heel, Jablonski made some controversial decisions in the student affairs post, including suspending UNC’s rugby team in 2007 and lessening a fraternity’s punishment after a hazing incident in 2006.
Before moving to Chapel Hill, Jablonski worked in student affairs at Brown University, the University of Connecticut, Massachussets Institude of Technology, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Boston University. Jablonski will be on campus April 9 and 10.
Bresciani, the third candidate, stepped down as UNC’s interim vice chancellor for student affairs when Jablonski was hired in 2004. Most recently Bresciani served as vice president for student affairs at Texas A&M University.
According to several sources, including KBTX-TV and A&M’s The Battalion, A&M president Elsa Murano asked Bresciani to resign in 2008 for unknown reasons. His forced resignation was met with an outcry from students and faculty, who hailed Bresciani in The Battalion as a hard-working, visible vice president. During his time at A&M, Bresciani worked to integrate student life programs with the university’s academic mission.
Bresciani worked at A&M for four years after serving in student affairs at UNC for eight years. Previously he spent six years at the University of Nebraska at Kearney in various administrative roles. Bresciani will meet students April 13 and 14.
The final candidate, Loredo, has been the Associate Dean of Students at The University of Maine in Orono since 1999. As the director of Maine’s Campus Life program, Loredo is responsible for many campus activities and units, including multicultural programming, Greek life, GLBT services and volunteer programs.
Loredo is also responsible for allocating and managing a $4 million budget.
Before moving to Maine, Loredo worked as director of the Office of Multicultural Services at University of Houston — Clear Lake in Texas. Loredo will visit the campus April 23 and 24.
When looking for a new vice president for student affairs, Clemens and the Search Committee weighed experience and innovation, commitment to diversity and solid communication skills. While Clemens admitted the tough task in replacing Sadler, he maintained that all four finalists could accept the challenge.
“[Sadler’s] legacy includes the position of VP itself and a campus with a strong sense of community, which are strengths that any one of these excellent candidates can draw upon in moving ahead,” Clemens wrote.