The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Committees responsible for advising QU president impacted by key administrative departures

Eight top administrators sit on the committee that advises Quinnipiac University President Judy Olian. In the past year, three of them have left.

The President’s Management Committee is nothing short of a who’s who of Quinnipiac’s upper administration. The university’s chief administrators — Chief Experience Officer Tom Ellett, Provost Debra Liebowitz and Chief Financial Officer Mark Varholak, for example — are members of the eight-seat body that oversees “the day-to-day and strategic operations of the university,” per Quinnipiac’s website.

But the vice presidents of marketing, diversity and development are also among Olian’s closest advisers. And since October 2022, the three people who held those titles have, one by one, announced their resignations.

Daryl Richard, then-vice president for marketing and communications, resigned in October 2022.

Olian notified students and faculty in early January about the impending departure of Don Sawyer, Quinnipiac’s then-vice president for equity, inclusion and leadership development.

She later announced to faculty and staff that Dan Kim, a former senior communications official at Brandeis University, would succeed Richard as vice president for marketing and communications in late July.

And approximately a week after Sawyer officially left Quinnipiac at the end of the 2022-23 academic year, Olian announced that Wayne Gersie, Michigan Technological University’s inaugural vice president of diversity and inclusion, would succeed him in late July.

But in mid-September, Todd Sloan, Quinnipiac’s current vice president for development and alumni affairs, became the third member of the committee to announce his resignation in the last year. Olian announced Sloan’s departure to faculty on Sept. 14, and Quinnipiac officials subsequently reposted her communication to MyQ.

Olian wrote in the email announcement that Nick Wormley, a former Quinnipiac student-athlete and the current associate vice president for development and alumni affairs, will serve as the interim vice president until university officials appoint Sloan’s successor.

All three of Quinnipiac’s former administrators moved laterally into near-equivalent vice president positions at other universities after leaving their vice president positions in Hamden.

Richard left his job as Quinnipiac’s vice president for marketing and communications last fall to become Marist College’s inaugural vice president of communications and marketing.

Then, in July, Sawyer finished out his tenure as Quinnipiac’s chief diversity officer to become the inaugural vice president of diversity, inclusion and belonging at Fairfield University.

And in October, Sloan will leave his post as Quinnipiac’s vice president for development to become Princeton Theological Seminary’s vice president of advancement.

Although these resignations were among the highest-ranking, they were not the only administrative departures of significance in the last year.

In the same 12-month timeframe that Richard, Sawyer and Sloan announced their departures, so did three of Quinnipiac’s nine academic deans.

Lisa O’Connor, then-dean of the university’s School of Nursing, announced her intention to step down at the end of the 2022-23 academic year in November 2022. Larry Slater, a former associate dean of the University of Memphis’ Loewenberg College of Nursing, succeeded O’Connor in June.

Just weeks after the provost announced Slater’s appointment, Chris Roush suddenly resigned his position as dean of the School of Communications in mid-May. Terry Bloom, the school’s former associate dean, will serve as the interim dean until university officials appoint Roush’s successor.

The provost then notified students and faculty on Aug. 30 that Jennifer Brown intended to step down as dean of the School of Law at the end of the 2023-24 academic year.

While Roush — like the three management committee members — left the university entirely, O’Connor and Brown both plan to return to Quinnipiac as faculty members after taking sabbaticals.

Nevertheless, each of the university’s nine academic deans and the eight members of the President’s Management Committee sit on the university’s Leadership Council. The 23-person body, according to the university’s website, advises Olian on “important decisions involving the university and oversee key areas around the institution.”

Six other senior administrators — including Monique Drucker, vice president and dean of students, Tony Reyes, chief of public safety, and Greg Amodio, director of athletics — sit alongside the deans and the management committee members on the council.

Importantly, it is not clear if any of the departures are related.

“That’s all the information we’re providing at this time,” wrote John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations, in a statement to The Chronicle.

But the reasons aside, the leadership council responsible for advising the university’s president has lost 20% of its members since last October amid the back-to-back departures — and is set to lose another at the end of the academic year.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Cat Murphy
Cat Murphy, News Editor
Peyton McKenzie
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

Comments (0)

All The Quinnipiac Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *