New personnel bring positivity to community

Several new administrators, faculty and staff members have joined the College this year.

“So, why (did I choose to work at) Guilford?” asked Beth Rushing, interim academic dean. “I didn’t know much about Guilford before, but the more I explored and tried to learn and the more I heard (about it) when I talked to people here, it just seemed like—You’re always when you hire somebody, you’re looking  for a fit, you know, like puzzle pieces? And this felt like my puzzle piece.”

The new administrators and faculty chose to come to Guilford for many different reasons.

“Guilford seems (like it’s) more geared toward ‘Did you learn something while you’re here and does that make you a world citizen?’” said Antoine Williams, a new assistant professor of art.

Some came in hopes of helping Guilford reach its potential.

“When I look at President Jane and all the exciting things that are happening with new leadership all around the campus, and I look at the history of this great college and (how there are) so many great things going for it, it just was a very attractive opportunity for me to play a very small part in its future,” said Vice President of Marketing Roger Degerman.

Degerman and Vice President of Enrollment Management Arlene Cash have joined Rushing and other administrators as new additions to President Jane Fernandes’ “cabinet.”

Along with the other responsibilities of their positions, they will take part in helping to address the budget challenges Guilford is facing.

When asked about those challenges, the answers from both administrators and faculty were resoundingly hopeful.

“I love higher (education),” said Rushing. “I think it’s an important endeavor for individual lives and society, so (this work that we do) is important to me. Finding and realizing (that) we need to find a new way through it and a new way of being a private liberal arts college, I think that’s entirely possible. I’m optimistic that we’re going to get there.”

Despite Guilford’s current budget crisis, Cash seemed hopeful when taking the job.

“I fix that,” said Cash. “That’s what I do. I fix those problems.”

Many other administrators felt similarly about Guilford’s budget.

“You know Guilford College has been here, and it’s been here through some really difficult times, much more difficult than this,” said Brenda Swearingin, new assistant professor of sports studies. “I believe Guilford will learn, organize and grow to meet the challenges.”