College reveals post-Constantine plans

A panel presented TED-talk style speeches on of free speech in the media followed by a discussion. FILE PHOTO / THE FLAT HAT

A week after longtime Student Activities Executive Director Mark Constantine abruptly resigned, the department leadership’s duties have been parceled out among several administrators in the absence of a permanent replacement.

Interim Executive Director Robert Knowlton, who has served as the director of the Campus Center and Sadler Center for the past 31 years, is acting as the effective head of the department.

“I’ve done a lot of the things that are typically involved … having worked under Mark Constantine for the past 15 years, and it’s a more workable situation to have someone in here who has institutional knowledge,” Knowlton said.

Knowlton will be working closely with two other administrators — Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement and Leadership Drew Stelljes and Assistant Director of Student Activities Trici Fredrick M.Ed. ’05 — to create a smooth transition until a replacement is finalized.

“What we’ll be doing is making sure that the rest of the semester is completed without any glitches, with enough planning as we move into the spring semester,” Knowlton said.

As far as Knowlton knows, his interim position is a long-term one, as he is unaware of any plans by the administration to fill the position anytime soon.

“There will be a search for a replacement,” Knowlton said. “As to when that will happen and when the search will begin, I really don’t know and I would assume that any replacement would come after the academic year.”

The reason for Constantine’s resignation remains unknown to the student body. Administrators state the decision was due to personal reasons and will not provide more specific information.

“Since Mr. Constantine is no longer on staff at the College, and since he resigned for personal reasons, there really is nothing else for me to add,” Vice President of Student Affairs Ginger Ambler ’88 Ph.D. ’06 said.

Constantine’s departure will be felt across a wide array of student activities. As executive director, Constantine attended a number of Student Assembly Senate meetings and worked with the SA as they interacted with various branches of the College administration.

“At the end of the day, there are few who better advocated for [the] Student Assembly at this place,” SA President Curt Mills ’13 said. “What he knows and what he knows how to do at this school far exceeds what he is paid for. It’s a huge loss.”

Constantine’s departure also led to the complete cancellation of the remaining sessions of the Men’s Leadership Program which he was responsible for administering. Other organizations under the SA umbrella such as AMP were affected to a far lesser extent.

“AMP has always been under the direct guidance of Trici Fredrick … because of this, little has changed with how AMP will operate under the interim leadership of Mr. Knowlton,” AMP Executive Director John Lovette ’13 said in an email. “It may be slightly confusing without a central leadership figure, but I would hope that the three of them … have already discussed how to handle the chain of command and where to direct certain questions.”

According to Mills, Constantine also had a hand in planning the King and Queen’s Ball and Busch Gardens Day, aiding other student organizations including the Publications Council.

“He was the advisor [of the Publications Council] and he was also the ex post facto member,” Pub Council Chair Justin Miller ’13 said. “It kind of sucks; I thought he was going to write one of my recommendation letters.”


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