October 30, 2015

Dear Members of the Trinity Community,

This academic year will bring significant changes in senior leadership here at Trinity, as we say goodbye to several valued colleagues.

As many of you realize, Tom Mitzel, Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA), has been appointed president of Dickinson State University in North Dakota.  For Tom, a native of South Dakota, it will be something of a homecoming as he brings his Midwestern sensibility to leadership of another campus.

To ensure the continuity of the work in the dean’s office, I have appointed Sonia Cardenas and Melanie Stein each as an Interim Dean of the Faculty.  They will begin their new duties officially on November 1, 2015.  In November, we will hold a faculty forum to clarify further duties or governance issues that may arise during this interim period.  To identify Tom’s permanent successor, we have already formed a search committee for the new Dean of the Faculty/VPAA.  Members of Faculty Conference and I have agreed upon the following group of individuals, and I thank each of them for serving in this important role: Jack Fracasso, Hebe Guardiola-Diaz, Shafqat Hussain, Lida Maxwell, Angel Pérez, Maurice Wade, and Sheila Fisher, who will chair the search committee.  Also, I have engaged the search firm of Spencer Stuart to aid with the search.  Spencer Stuart will conduct focus groups of our campus constituencies to help formulate the job description and will then assist us in identifying outstanding candidates to lead our academic efforts into the future.  The search committee will provide me with three strong candidates, and I will make the choice of the new dean.  We expect to have a new dean in place by July 1, 2016.

Next, I would like to take this opportunity to announce the departure of Paul Mutone.  Paul has served as Vice President for Finance and Operations and Treasurer of the College.  During his time at Trinity, he has been a much-relied-upon and honest broker of our College finances and has led us ably through our fiscal challenges.  Paul rightfully takes pride in his role in the development of the College’s Crescent Street buildings, the purchase of 200 Constitution Plaza, and the many facilities, financial, and other campus-wide projects that he has overseen that support the long-term sustainability of our institution.  Paul let me know that he will be leaving Trinity at the end of January 2016.  He is developing a transition plan before his departure that will include work on a revised 2016 budget and the new 2017 budget.  We will begin a search for his replacement immediately, and I will form a multi-constituency search committee that will be aided by the search firm Brill Neumann.

Jenny Holland, Director of Communications, notified me earlier in the fall of her intent to retire from the College on December 31.  At my request, she has agreed to stay on until the end of February 2016 to help ensure a smooth transition.  As a valued member of my senior team, Jenny has played a key role in heralding Trinity’s messages, fostering our institutional pride, and being a voice for transparency in my new administration.  Jenny’s February departure should allow us time to replace her position.  We soon will begin a search for a Vice President of Communications and Marketing that will replace and combine the Director of Communications and Vice President of College Relations positions that we have had.  We will form a multi-constituency search committee to identify the strongest candidate to fill this position.

Please join me in wishing our colleagues well in their new endeavors as they leave Trinity.  Collectively, they represent more than 30 years of valued service to the College.  They have all served Trinity well and will be sorely missed.

I am reminded that each new search provides us with an opportunity.  With each new position, we will increase the capacity of our team that will help lead Trinity College into its next century of offering transformative experiences for students ’neath the elms.


Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President and Trinity College Professor
Of Neuroscience