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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Student media interviewed Quinnipiac’s president. Here’s what to know.

Quinnipiac+University+President+Judy+Olian+told+student+media+on+Feb.+9+that+a+variety+of+factors+%E2%80%94+namely%2C+family+reasons+and+external+opportunities+%E2%80%94+contributed+to+six+departures+within+the+universitys+diversity+ranks.
Cat Murphy
Quinnipiac University President Judy Olian told student media on Feb. 9 that a variety of factors — namely, family reasons and external opportunities — contributed to six departures within the university’s diversity ranks.

In her annual interview with student media, Quinnipiac University President Judy Olian discussed the biggest headlines of the academic year, from monumental construction projects to concerns around diversity, inclusion and vandalism.

Here’s what you need to know from the Feb. 9 sit-down with the university’s ninth president.

DIVERSITY, INCLUSION AND FACULTY TURNOVER

Olian addressed questions about the recent turnover within Quinnipiac’s diversity ranks and the overhaul of the former Department of Cultural and Global Engagement.

Six employees in the DCGE and Title IX offices have resigned in the last year.

Amid Wayne Gersie’s resignation as vice president for equity and inclusion after just five months at Quinnipiac, Olian announced the creation of the Office of Inclusive Excellence.

In a Dec. 7 email to students, faculty and staff, Olian noted that OIE would assume the responsibilities of DCGE, minus study abroad and international student and scholar affairs — which are now overseen by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Student Affairs, respectively.

Olian attributed the turnover to a variety of reasons during the Feb. 9 interview, including family situations and outside opportunities.

“People have options, and one of the great lessons in management that I’ve learned is that when you attract great people, you want to create an environment in which they think, and believe and experience growth,” Olian said. “And when you think and experience growth, people have options to move on.”

David Fryson, who Quinnipiac tapped as interim vice president of equity and inclusion following Gersie’s resignation, was tasked on Dec. 7 with transiting DCGE into OIE. Olian said on Feb. 9 that hiring is Fryson’s “first order of business” in the interim role.

“I recognize that it’s been a blow that we have to effectively rebuild the (OIE) office,” Olian said. “We have some carry(over) in the Office of Inclusive Excellence, but there has been some turnover.”

And since then, Fryson has appointed one key administrator to the Office of Inclusive Excellence, naming Patricio Jimenez as Quinnipiac’s permanent Title IX coordinator in a Jan. 31 email.

Jimenez, a Syracuse University Title IX investigator who is slated to start at Quinnipiac on March 11, will be the third person in the role in just over a year and the first to hold the title of permanent coordinator since Dennis Kwarteng’s January 2023 resignation.

Three of the roughly seven positions in the new office have been filled, Olian said.

VANDALISM AND HATE INCIDENTS

The news of desecration in campus communal spaces marked the fall 2023 semester. First, there was widespread vandalism in the Ledges Residence Hall spanning the fall semester, then an alleged Halloween arson in Dana English Hall. And in November, amid the Israel-Hamas war, officials found two swastikas carved into the York Hill Campus’ mail lockers.

In her hour-long interview with student media, Olian condemned the vandalism and Nazi hate symbols.

“I view the swastikas as vandalism and also hate speech, frankly, and I view the vandalism in Ledges as disgusting behavior, as much disrespectful of other students and other staff who have to clean it up as it is against the university,” Olian said.

Though university officials have identified three since-suspended students who they believe to be responsible for the arson in Dana, they have yet to publicly identify suspects in the swastika and Ledges vandalism investigations. Notably, the Department of Public Safety has documented incidents of vandalism in The Ledges as recently as Feb. 9.

In response to vandalism in the Ledges, the Office of Residential Life announced Jan. 17 that officials had installed cameras in the corridors of the dorm building. This came after the introduction of an anonymous tip line intended to help identify perpetrators of the ongoing vandalism.

“I ask fellow students if they have any information, help us remove that from our community,” Olian said on Feb. 9.

The tip line can be reached at (203-528-6201)\.

SOUTH QUAD

The ongoing South Quad construction — part of the university’s 10-year Master Facilities Plan — was a large focus of the Feb. 9 interview.

The university unveiled the official names of the South Quad dorm building and academic center in late January. A new School of Business will accompany The SITE (science, innovation, technology and exploration) academic building and The Grove Residence Hall in the $293 million South Quad.

With the new buildings, Olian said the university’s goal is to “blur the lines between school and work” by creating career-oriented spaces and encouraging communication between upper and underclassmen.

The 417-bed Grove dorm will be open to students from all class years, a feature Olian said she hopes will foster mentorship.

“Sometimes you say to yourself, ‘Well I wish I had known that when I came in (to college),’” Olian said. “That element could be removed by sharing what you do know (and) how you learned.”

The Grove will house students starting in August 2024 while The SITE and the new School of Business are slated to open in May 2025.

Olian ended the interview by encouraging students to come to her office hour sessions.

“I encourage the dialogue constantly with the university, the university administration, faculty and staff,” Olian said.

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Katie Langley, Editor-in-Chief
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