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College continues search for replacement for Dean MarTeze Hammonds

Mariah Joyce

News Editor

Although the title and specific job description have yet to be determined, The College of Wooster intends to conduct a search for a replacement for MarTeze Hammonds.

In early January of this year, Hammonds left the College for a position at Arkansas Technical University in Russelville, Arkansas. At the time, Hammonds was assistant dean of retention and academic engagement and associate director of the Center for Diversity and Global Engagement (CDGE) at Wooster. At Arkansas Tech, Hammonds is now the associate dean of students for diversity and inclusion. The creation of this position was established with Hammonds’ arrival at the institution.

Hammonds had been at the College since the summer of 2012, and, according to Dean of Students Kurt Holmes, his leaving had been planned for quite some time.

Said Holmes, “Dean Hammonds made it clear when he came to Wooster that he anticipated a three-year run. This opportunity just came along mid-winter instead of at the end of this academic year.”

Because this move was in some sense anticipated, Hammonds “had the office planning well in hand before his departure,” according to Holmes. In his absence, his former duties are being covered by a combination of CDGE Director Nancy Grace and Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) Program Coordinator Parker Suddeth, as well as members of Student Life staff. Suddeth said that his current duties have not changed significantly since Hammonds left the College.

Though both Holmes and Grace confirmed that the College is definitely planning to search for Hammonds’ replacement, the search cannot begin until a specific job description and desired placement of that individual is defined.

According to Holmes, “As with every transition, we are taking the opportunity to refine the job description a bit.”

Suddeth indicated that, to the best of his knowledge, the goal is for the position to be filled by July of this year; in a replacement, he hopes to see “someone who will be an advocate for students of color, someone who believes each student has a voice that needs to be heard and someone who is able to address the many complexities of diversity and inclusivity on our campus.”

Hammonds’ responsibilities at the College were expanded to include associate director of the CDGE and director of OMSA in 2013; though his replacement would be expected to work with OMSA, it is unclear whether he or she would also be placed in the CDGE.

This may be in part due to the currently undetermined fate of the Center itself. President Grant Cornwell, who is widely credited with supporting the development of the CDGE, announced to the College community on Thursday, Feb. 19 that he will leave The College of Wooster for a position at Rollins College as of June 30, 2015.

Said Grace, “the delay in moving forward with a decision regarding how to restructure the CDGE probably is connected to President Cornwell’s appointment as Rollins College president. I hope that we’ll have a decision very soon.”

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