by Erica Price
A vote of no confidence was postponed this week at Robertus Magnus Magnificus College in Shellsbury Maryland, indicating growing support for the college’s president, Monsignor Edgar Shriver. Monsignor Shriver’s alleged lack of vision and leadership had raised considerable concerns since he took office last year, but a renewed laser-sharp focus on the college’s division of student affairs may be a sign that he is exactly the leader needed to help the college during its crisis of low enrollment and declining success in fundraising.
In an aggressive display of fortitude, Monsignor Shriver, ordered a cancellation of the annual planning retreat of the division of student affairs. The president, offered the following charge to the group:
“I was charged to run an institution of propriety, where a vision for a more virtuous society can be realized. The use of the title “Student Affairs” for the division most squarely focused on students and their well-being leaves potential for an uninformed observer to assume that our staff are truly involved in “affairs” with students. Therefore, I request a renaming of the division in time for the start of Fall semester classes.”
Vice president for student “affairs” Mitchell Baker was unavailable for comment but was seen banging his head against the wall of the men’s room close to the meeting’s location. In Baker’s absence, dean of students Debbie Nicholas chaired the meeting.
Director of counseling services, Michael Hirono suggested the name “student engagement,” to which director of campus ministry Rachel Warnick responded that the change would encourage students to become engaged to each other before they were ready for the commitment of marriage.
Director of career services David Mitchell offered the idea of “student relations” which was also immediately chastised by Warnick as “implying the same type of relationship with students that Monsignor Shriver was hoping to avoid.”
As the group still lacked resolution, a fifteen-minute coffee recess was called.
Following the coffee break, Dean Nicholas then asked for new ideas. “Student services” was eliminated for its potential for high customer service expectations and “student life” was eliminated because everyone believed the campus was too boring on the weekends to honestly claim “a life.”
Dean Nicholas called for an abrupt end to the retreat by convening the Task Force on What to Call Ourselves and charged that group with addressing the president’s concerns.
Task force work continued as we went to press, and many staff have voiced concerns that the president’s request will not be honored in time before classes start.
“Still, it’s amazing how focused we’ve been as a campus,” said one insider. “We really misjudged Monsignor Shriver. He’s given us an exciting and renewed sense of mission.”