September 16, 2014

Dear faculty and staff members,

I would like to let you know that I have added four new members to my President’s Cabinet, a group of key advisors and the leadership of the operations on campus and beyond.  The new members are: Sue Aber, Director, Information Technology Services and CIO; Sonia Cardenas, Associate Academic Dean and Professor of Political Science; Richard Prigodich, Dean of Academic Planning and Professor of Chemistry; and Jason Rojas, Director, Community Relations, who is also assuming the position of Chief of Staff. The addition of these four highly respected individuals reflects the need for strategic guidance from their various areas of expertise, and provides more help on the senior leadership team to accomplish the work that we need to do.  Sue will add a much-needed voice regarding technology, which currently touches almost every aspect of our work.  Sonia and Rich provide additional faculty voices supporting our academic mission.  Jason will provide strategic guidance to me concerning pending appointment requests from inside and outside of the community, and ensure timely communications flow among the Cabinet members.  Jason will also continue his important role in supporting community relations. These four new members join the current members of the Cabinet: Fred Alford, David Andres, Larry Dow, Jack Fracasso, Mary Jo Keating, Tom Mitzel, Paul Mutone, and Karla Spurlock-Evans.  These changes will occur without increases in staff numbers, though some duties will be modified.

However, I do want to signal to you a staff increase that I consider necessary.  I will hire General Counsel to provide legal support to the College.  Our campus is complex and requires legal counsel on issues related to personnel, contract negotiations, and compliance (e.g. Title IX).  My expectation is that having internal legal counsel will not increase expenses because, at the moment, we seek and pay for outside legal counsel on all of these issues.  I expect that the money saved on outside counsel will more than pay for internal legal counsel.  Also, I believe firmly that if we seek legal counsel earlier on issues, we may be able to avoid more costly legal expenses down the road.

As you know, I have committed to increased transparency in my administration, and this notice to you is just one example.


Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President and Trinity College
Professor of Neuroscience