Vice President for Student Affairs candidate Dean L. Bresciani addressed a crowd of 30 students and adults at Blow Hall Monday.
He was the second candidate to speak at the College of William and Mary regarding the VPSA position left open by Sam Sadler ’64 M.Ed. ’71, who retired last year after serving as the College’s VPSA for 41 years.
Bresciani possesses administrative experience at both the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and
Texas A&M University.
He began the student forum by talking about his experience working for colleges from all over the country at schools ranging from 2,000 to 40,000 students.
Bresciani said he held positions dealing with issues from academic to student affairs.
“What you experience doesn’t happen by accident,” Bresciani said, describing the effort needed to be a college administrator.
Before taking questions, Bresciani praised the College’s academics and engagement in the community.
“William and Mary is what most universities wish they could be,” he said, citing undergraduate research, the close community and the benefits of operating in a small town.
Bresciani went on to stress the importance of the College’s influence when asked about the three-person rule.
“Without the College of William and Mary, there would be no Williamsburg,” he said. “There would be a Colonial Williamsburg, but the town would fall apart. That’s not an overstatement.”
From his observations of other similar communities, Bresciani said the three-person rule doesn’t work, is non-enforceable, and is used to boost the constituency of politicians.
“They want the benefit here but not the responsibility,” he said.
The students present asked Bresciani about topics ranging from incorporating caucasian students into a multicultural community to supporting Greek life on campus.
Bresciani said that discussing controversial issues like race is one of the reasons that universities exist, and offered strong praise for Greek organizations. Overall, he said his most important job would be to make himself easily accessible to students.
Bresciani expressed disappointment in not having met Sadler. When asked about the former VPSA after the student forum, he spoke highly of the well-known College alumnus.
“I am embarrassed I don’t know him,” he said. “Robert Gates speaks highly of him. I had a very close relationship with Gates at A&M. William and Mary did good with that one.”