Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, Mary Hendrickson likes a challenge. The mountain of papers that tower on her desk proves she is not easily intimidated by hard work and long hours. Hendrickson’s commitment to the college earned her the new position of Special Assistant to the President for Student Success.
“This position is critical for Wilson to keep growing. For us to be successful we must focus on the students…their adjustment as well as, their academic success,” said President Mistick, who created the position on behalf of the college. “Mary’s work will become much more specialized. She was previously Dean of Students, so she knows how to make the student experience successful.”
Hendrickson awaits a firm date for her transition, but she believes it to be sometime in July.
As Special Assistant to the President, Hendrickson’s job responsibilities will change to allow her to focus on strengthening the First Year Seminar (FYS) program. This program introduces students to Wilson and ensures their adjustment to the rigors of higher education is a positive experience.
Hendrickson’s additional duties will include the inspection of high impact student activities, such as internships and student research. As Special Assistant to the President, Hendrickson will ensure that these activities provide students with a positive and practical experience.
Both Mistick and Hendrickson identify the upcoming 2015 Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) Midterm Report, and the college’s need to boost student enrollment and retention as the primary focus of Hendrickson’s efforts for FYS and the evaluation of activities.
“Mary will be able to do what she does well, and that is her work with the accreditation process. This is a huge responsibility for the college,” said Mistick. Mary will have the opportunity to step back and see where the best intersection is between the college’s goals for the students’ experience and academic success.
Hendrickson said her appointment is a bittersweet event. “I put my heart and soul into this position. I have worked with a lot of great people. I will miss some of them, but others I will get a chance to work with in a new capacity,” said Hendrickson. “I know it will take time to figure out my new job, but I am excited to see how things come together.”
Wilson hired Archer Martin Consultants to complete the process of finding Hendrickson’s predecessor. Mistick said that the firm is familiar with Wilson’s needs. “They facilitated the search when I became President and for the position for Vice President of Finance. They will also help with the Vice President for Student Affairs candidate search,” said Mistick.
Opportunities for the community to meet the prospective candidates for these positions will be announced via campus email. No dates have been set for meeting the Academic Dean candidates, but candidates for the position of V.P. of Student Affairs visited campus Dec. 3-Dec. 12, 2013.