By: Analisa Novak
Reassignments and sudden departures have left many student services positions at Central Connecticut State University vacant, including three director positions.
The Director of Student Disability Services, whose duty includes providing academic adjustments, modifications and accommodations to those protected under the American Disability Act (ADA), is just one of the three director positions that are currently unoccupied.
Dr. Valerie Hamilton-Brodie resigned and took another position earlier this summer. The interim Director of Student Disability Services is Dr. Carolyn Fallahi. With Dr. Fallahi acting as interim Director, SDS has only one other disability specialist to assist all CCSU students who seek assistance.
CCSU student Amanda Gorman, who uses SDS, is worried about the vacated position.
“I am concerned. I believe it is very important that they find a director as soon as possible. In order to provide adequate support to the students, there should be a director present,” Gorman said.
CCSU is currently without an Athletic Director after it was announced that Paul Schlickmann will be the new Athletic Director for Fairfield University. Schlickmann had been with CCSU since 2010, and has helped Central attain 20 NEC Championships. According to President Toro, as part of a recent organizational change, the Athletic Department now falls under Institutional Advancements.
“The division head for this area will first conduct a review of the staffing and department structure, before initiating a search for a replacement for the recently vacated Athletic Director position,” Toro said.
Alongside SDS, the Director of Student Wellness Services remains unfilled with Dr. Jacqueline Harris retiring.
According to the job posting, the Director of Student Wellness provides oversight “for the total student health care activities of the university, and the preventive and support services in various forms of individual and group counseling including but not limited to psychotherapy, stress reduction, substance abuse preventive outreach programs and crisis intervention services.”
“The Vice President of Student Affairs is reviewing the organizational structure with the most recent departure of the Director of Student Wellness. In the interim, the vice president will be assuming that role,” said President Toro.
Student Government Association Senator Stephen Dew, sees the potential re-organizational of Student Wellness as a sign of things to come.
“Well, while it is my hope that we have a fully staffed student wellness center, so that we can deal with some of the more unpleasant situations students could potentially face during their time at CCSU, we have to be realistic. With the state and our university system facing budgetary uncertainty, all options must remain on the table. What we have to do as student leaders is make the case for reductions and consolidation at the system level, and not at the university level,” Dew said.
The combined salary for the three director positions that remain vacant is estimated to be $367,390.
SDS and Student Wellness fall under the supervision of the Vice President of Student Affairs, whose position is also not filled. Dr. Laura Tordenti, who was Vice President of Student Affairs for nine years, was reassigned this summer by President Toro.
In an email sent this July, President Toro thanked Dr. Tordenti for her “dedicated leadership” and assigned Dr. Peter Troiano as Interim Vice President, until a national search for a new vice president starts. Dr. Tordenti currently is working on special projects for President Toro, at CCSU’s Institute of Technology & Business Development.