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Senior Class Gift - Essay Example

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Altering the selection process of the Young Alumni Trustee has left the Bryant University faculty and student body in disarray. The controversy, which spanned six months, centered on the nomination committee's commitment to increasing the opportunity for diversity in the process…
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Senior Class Gift
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Download file to see previous pages Finally, in September 2006 the Young Alumni Trustee was named but the reorganization had left the members of the Senior Class Gift Committee with no clear responsibility
The Young Alumni Trustee is a position on the Board of Trustees that is granted to a graduating senior each year. The successful program had been in effect since 1996 and each member that is awarded the position serves a three-year term. By April 2006, the selection committee had settled on two finalists, Cathleen Doan and Brian Levin. The winner was to be announced at commencement ceremonies on May 20. On April 25, 2006, students received an e-mail re-opening the application process and encouraging students to reapply.
The selection committee justified their actions based on low student interest and lack of diversity among the applicants. Doan and Levin were still considered finalists, but Laurie Musgrove, Vice President of University Advancement, said they were seeing if "other students should be joining them as finalists". Robin Warde, Interim Director of Alumni Relations, said the concern was the small number of original student applicants. Warde noted that only 5 members of the class of 2006 had been interviewed and said, "something different needed to be done".
It was apparent that the board had been remiss in addressing this problem sooner. According to Warde, they had been concerned over lack of participation in previous years. Musgrove and Warde, however, waited until the finalists had been selected to make the last minute changes. Musgrove had some misgivings and expressed the "wish that timing could be different". She continued to encourage Doan and Levin to stay in the process and viewed their withdrawal with "disappointment and dismay".
Before commencement ceremonies, the Board of Trustees took control of the nominating process after overriding the previous decisions made by the nominating board. President Ronald Machtley and BOT Chairman Thomas Taylor headed the new selection committee. No winner was announced at that time. In September 2006, the Bryant University Board of Trustees (BOT) named Saddi Williams as the 2006 Young Alumnus Trustee at their annual meeting during Homecoming Weekend. The BOT also established the Bryant Senior Advisory Council (BSA), a 30 member committee comprised of students that will be the pool for next year's applicants. Warde has made a commitment to working with students all year and promoting a wide representation on the BSA.
The controversy that began in April 2006 had not gone away by September. The creation of the BSA created another debate over the Senior Class Gift program. During the summer of 2006, Shannon Maldonando and I (Amr Zawawi) worked to develop a "comprehensive plan for the 2007 Senior Class Gift". However, on September 22, 2006 the President's office released a press statement that said, "The Bryant Senior Advisory Council shall also act as a core group to engage the senior class in developing a plan for their class gift". This resulted in confusion and further divisiveness surrounding the role of Moldanado and I in the gift selection process. The controversial changes that began in April 2006 had continued to linger and in attempting to correct past problems resulted in creating new controversies.
Summer Plans
The Senior Class Gift Committee had made a decision to begin working on the project at the earliest possible date. We all ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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