UCAB to operate without faculty director

The College of William and Mary’s hiring freeze could leave the University Center Activities Board without a faculty director next semester.

Assistant Director of Student Activites, Joe Lowder, who oversees UCAB, will leave the College this December to head student activities at Florida State University.

Lowder oversees the more than 150 students in UCAB who direct campus-wide events. He manages UCAB’s talent contracts and a student-devised budget of more than $250,000 as well as its student-run executive board. He is also responsible for the management of Lake Matoaka Amphitheatre and a co-facilitator for the College’s Student Leadership Foundation.

Vice President for Student Affairs Mark Constantine said that he — along with UCAB’s two graduate assistants and executive board — will take on Lowder’s responsibilities until the College lifts its freeze. Constantine said that the added responsibility would put more pressure on UCAB’s current staff of undergraduates, meaning “double duty, longer hours, and some weekends.”

However, he believed that added burden would not pressure students into working beyond their capacity.

“We never put pressure on students,” Constantine said. “They want to get things done to ensure activities for the students.”

UCAB Executive Director Breah Samuels ’09 said that the board is currently preparing to readjust their responsibilities to compensate for Lowder’s absence. Samuels also said that students would now be involved in the contract process for event planning, a responsibility once reserved for Lowder and other faculty.

“My responsibilities with keeping an eye on the budget will likely increase a bit,” Samuels said in an e-mail.
“But most importantly, we will all become more responsible for challenging one another and encouraging other members to really look at their decisions critically as Joe always pushes us to do.”

Programming for this year will not be affected by Lowder’s absence, but next year may be different, Constantine said.

“It will be very difficult if we want to provide the same service,” Constantine said when asked if UCAB could cope if the hiring freeze extends beyond July 2009. “It’s asking too much.”

The College instituted the hiring freeze after the state imposed a $3.4 million cut in the College’s budget last July for the 2008 fiscal year. Since then, the College has left vacant faculty positions and reduced its maintenance and operating budget by 5 percent, according to an e-mail sent to students this week by College President Taylor Reveley.

“The savings from these actions, when combined with savings previously identified, should enable us to remove the current hiring freeze before long,” Reveley said in the e-mail.
If the College lifts the freeze, Constantine said that Lowder’s replacement will be hired by July 1, the start of the fiscal year.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here