Over 20 members of faculty, administration and staff depart

Many members of Guilford College’s faculty and administration have left in the past year.

“I think that there has been a confluence of factors that have caused a lot of turnover in staff and, maybe faculty to a lesser extent,” said Director of Human Resources Rick Williams. “We have had a lot of changes in senior leadership, and we’ve had budgetary challenges that have caused people to feel some uncertainty about their jobs, and they’ve made decisions to go ahead and look elsewhere.”

More than 20 members of Guilford’s faculty and administration have left this year, going on to fulfill other positions, retiring or having their position terminated.

“My departure from the college was largely driven by an opportunity to advance my career and explore other challenges in the admission world,” said former Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Andy Strickler in an email interview with The Guilfordian. “I loved my time at Guilford; most specifically the students I got to work with over the course of my time on campus.”

Strickler is now the dean of admission and financial aid at Connecticut College.

“I want to celebrate with them their opportunities to grow professionally and know that we’ll probably cross paths in the future and maybe work together again,” said Williams.

Other administrative departures include former Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Aaron Fetrow who now holds the same position at Roanoke College in Salem, Va., former Vice President of Administration Jonathan Varnell who is now a project manager at a school in Indiana and former Vice President of Academic Affairs and Academic Dean Adrienne Israel who will continue teaching history at Guilford.

“New CEOs want their own people around them, and it’s not uncommon to see multiple changes in the senior management team, as has happened at Guilford,” said former Dean for the Center for Continuing Education Rita Serotkin in an email interview. “As one of their first restructuring efforts, a decision was made to change CCE – to cease its existence as a separate entity of the college focused on meeting adult needs and to relocate and incorporate its staff into other offices serving traditional students.”

Because of this restructuring, Rita Serotkin has left her position at Guilford.

“I had already been contemplating retiring in June 2015, and because I would no longer be able to help adult students achieve their dream of higher education in my new capacity, I decided to retire in March instead,” said Serotkin.

Serotkin now lives a mile from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she plans to work with one of the deans on an idea she has for real experiential learning, focusing on interdisciplinary student-run businesses, such as an off-campus art gallery, to encourage and teach entrepreneurship and basic business skills.

Former Professor of Mathematics Elwood Parker ’64 also chose to retire at the end of last year after serving for 47 years on the faculty at Guilford.

“I believe that Elwood spent most of his life teaching at Guilford, so his absence is felt not only by current Guilford students who have known him but also by the many alumni whom he taught over the years,” said Early College senior Ori Soker.

While it is difficult to watch community members, colleagues and friends leave Guilford, the Guilford community must note the goals they will undoubtedly continue to strive for wherever they choose to continue their careers.

“Without a doubt, these relationships and people have made me both a better admission professional and person; I will always be thankful and in their debt,” said Strickler.