President's Message Regarding Staff Searches, 5/11/16.


President’s Message Regarding Staff Searches, 5/11/16

Dear Drew community members,

As we look forward to Commencement 2016 (rain or shine) on Saturday, I write to share updates on staff searches; a new athletics program; organizational changes in the Office of Finance and Business Affairs, in Facilities Management, in Admissions and with the Center on Religion, Conflict, and Culture; and on a small change to Drew’s logo. This note will be followed by other updates on Drew initiatives after Commencement.

First, I’d like to share who, in addition to our Commencement speaker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, will receive an honorary degree during the 2016 Commencement ceremony. William Campbell, Drew fellow and winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine, and Robert Ready, outgoing dean of the Caspersen School, will be recognized for their contributions to Drew University and to society. In recognizing these individuals, we honor them as well as our institutional values.

Our search for a chief financial officer (CFO) successfully concluded and John Vitali will join Drew on June 20. I am very confident that he is the right person for the role and the feedback from the community reflects this. John is currently the CFO and vice president for finance and administration at the University for the Sciences in Philadelphia. In this role, he is responsible for the departments of finance, operating and capital budgeting, human resources, facilities, public safety, legal services, risk management and auxiliary services. He manages a $100 million budget, a $210 million endowment and a $110 million pension fund, and provides senior staff support to Board committees for audit, finance, facilities and investments.

As you know, we are investing in our physical plant, and to enhance excellence in this area, John will oversee Facilities and Campus Operations, a reorganized team. This team will join the Office of Finance and be headed by Mike Kopas, the assistant vice president of facilities and operations. Mike will report to John. This unit will include Facilities Management, Campus Sustainability and Project Management, as well as Auxiliary Services, another new team. We are currently accepting applications for an executive director of auxiliary services and the unit will be responsible for conferences and events, the bookstore, off-campus non-student residential properties and other vendor/contract services such as student laundry, the mailroom and shipping and receiving.

A new director of human resources will also report to John. The search for this position kicked off recently and, as with the CFO search, a committee with representation from across the University will make a recommendation to me. I hope to have someone in place sometime this summer.

Many, many thanks to the members of the CFO search committee, headed by Ken Alexo and with representatives from across the University, for their dedication to their task.

In Athletics, I am happy to share news about a new sport—golf! Men’s and women’s teams, the first in Drew’s history, will hit the links as a club sport this fall and join the Landmark Conference in 2017. Their home course will be Spring Brook Country Club in Morristown, and a search for a coach is underway. As a novice golfer myself, I’m excited about meeting team members and maybe picking up a few tips!

Another organizational change we are making is unifying the two existing graduate admissions teams and creating a single organization that supports student recruitment for both the Theological School and the Caspersen School. This newly formed team will be led by an executive director of graduate admissions, a new position reporting to Bob Massa, our senior vice president for enrollment management. We are very close to finalizing this search and should be able to share this news soon.

Other leadership searches currently underway include those for an assistant vice president for university advancement, a director of alumni and parent relations, a director of annual giving and a budget director.

The Center for Religion, Culture, and Conflict (CRCC), founded and successfully built by Dean Chris Taylor, will join the Theological School. The two organizations have similar goals and joining them allows us to develop an interfaith curriculum that can serve all three of Drew’s schools, gather and focus resources and advance our commitment to interfaith studies. The CRCC, under the direction Jonathan Golden, will report to Dean Javier Viera. Jonathan will also hold an affiliate appointment on the Theological School’s faculty. He will maintain his role and responsibilities at the Caspersen School of Graduates Studies as well.

In another transition, responsibility for the Drew Forum will move from Facilities Management to the Office of the President and be led by Marti Winer, chief of staff. Marti has considerable experience conceptualizing and planning successful events, as well as an institution-wide perspective on University programming and speakers that will appeal to both our on and off-campus audiences.

Last, the inauguration mark designed by Margaret Kiernan in communications has proven to be very popular, so we are incorporating it into a version of the Drew logo. Our first implementation of this is as an option for our new email footer (designed to replace the defunct “Full Impact Education” footer). Other options in the new footers are the three school logos and the One And All campaign mark.

If you have any questions about something in this note, please contact me at or 973.408.3100. I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming Commencement events and if you have left for the summer, I look forward to seeing you next semester!

Best regards,
MaryAnn Baenninger