Blake Ashby/Pioneer Log

Director of Campus Safety leaves LC, among others

Donna Henderson has vacated her position as director of campus safety. Henderson was in the position for about three years; she was hired in 2017 after the previous director, Tim O’Dwyer, retired. Henderson is a Lewis & Clark Graduate School alumna, obtaining a masters of arts in counseling psychology in 2009.  Before working at LC, Henderson worked at the Portland Police Bureau for over 20 years.

According to Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Robin Holmes-Sullivan, Henderson resigned from her position.

“Our HR department was informed in February that Ms. Henderson resigned her position as Director of Campus Safety,” Holmes-Sullivan said via email. 

John Harvey, Campus Safety supervisor, has taken on the role of interim director. Harvey had previously acted as interim director after O’Dwyer’s retirement. 

“I have asked John Harvey, who has previously served as the Interim Director of Campus Safety and who has been the Lead Supervisor in the Department for several years to once again step in as the Interim Director,” Holmes-Sullivan said via email. “John (Harvey) has great experience and understanding of the campus and the community and will serve as a solid leader for us in this role.”

In a statement released on the LC website, Holmes-Sullivan stated that Harvey will provide strong leadership as the school looks for a new director.

“(Harvey’s) knowledge of and love for the Lewis & Clark community are two of his strongest assets,” Holmes-Sullivan said on the website. “He will provide a steady hand as we choose our next steps in selecting a leader for this important campus function.” 

The search for a replacement will begin over the summer. 

Holmes-Sullivan was also clear that there are no operational impacts expected due to the departure.

“We are working to ensure that normal operations in Campus Safety continue to occur,” Holmes-Sullivan said. “The staff in the department are hard-working and dedicated professionals, and I fully expect that they will continue to provide a high level of service and support to our College community.”

Henderson’s departure comes as many positions campus-wide have been left vacant. Vice President, Chief of Staff, General Counsel and Board Secretary David Reese commented on the vacancies. 

“Because the incoming freshman class this year was a bit smaller than the budget had anticipated, we are trying to hold open positions vacant for about four months in the College of Arts and Sciences and Common Services as a method to help keep the budget in balance,” Reese said via email. “It often takes several months to post, search and successfully fill a position in any event, so we don’t see this as a big change.  We are not, however, requiring that a position be held open if we believe it is important to the student experience or otherwise important to be filled immediately.”

One of the positions that will remain vacant until the spring semester ends is associate director of Overseas and Off Campus Programs, which was previously filled by Nicole Schneider. Blythe Knott, director of Overseas & Off-Campus Programs, commented on her absence. 

“Nicole (Schneider)’s work has been divided between Kaitlin Sommerfeld (the Programs Coordinator) and myself,” Knott said via email. “We’re doing our best to keep the Overseas Programs office running smoothly this spring, given our short-staffing (and given unexpected situations like the Coronavirus).”

Another notable vacant position includes Director of Student Activities. Assistant Dean of Student Rights and Responsibilities Charlie Ahlquist is the acting director of student activities.

“The Director of Student Activities position is not being held vacant for budget-related reasons,” Reese said. “Vice President Robin Holmes-Sullivan is working hard on reimagining the student experience at Lewis & Clark, a process which includes talking with students and considering new Student Life facilities.  Part of that work is thinking about the best organizational structure in Student Life to support the student experience. We don’t want to post and fill a position until we know exactly what type of position will best serve students.”

Jason Feiner, who transitioned from director of Student Activities to Director of Special Events earlier this semester is no longer at the college. 

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