Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Is the Harrisburg University Director of Academic Success Qualified?

I'm sure Dr. Dimino is a perfectly nice person, but she does not seem to be qualified to be a director of student services. She's listed on HUST's website as the Assistant Director of Academic Success, but in her signature file she calls herself the Director of Academic Success.  Maybe she is both the Director and the Assistant Director?

Considering Harrisburg University's horrifying retention rate and dwindling student body, it seems   Harrisburg University has a critical need for a well qualified Director of Academic Success. Certainly we would need a director that has a strong background in student affairs/services right? To get an idea of what kind a qualifications a Director of Academic Success might need, I did a quick search for "Director of Academic Success jobs." I found a couple of job postings:

Northeastern State University  is looking for a Director of the Student Success Center: "A minimum of 5-7 years of progressive experience in student retention, academic advisement, or directly related field required. Prior management experience is preferred. The director should have an understanding of national best practices focused on retention and persistence of minority and at-risk students and be able to document success in retention and engagement activities leading to increased retention, persistence, and graduation rates."

Hood College is also looking for a Director of Student Success : "To perform this job successfully, an individual must have a working knowledge and understanding of academic curricula, student development; solid background in empirical studies and theoretical models of student success and retention; demonstrate an understanding of diversity through success in working with multicultural, international, traditional, adult and special student populations. Must possess a student-centered philosophy. Master's degree in student development, college student personnel or related field, required, doctorate preferred. A minimum of five to ten years experience working with diverse student populations and strong organizational and analytical skills are required."

Sounds perfectly reasonable right?

According to Dr. Dimino's biography published on Harrisburg University's website, she has degrees in Political Science and publications about elections. At Harrisburg University, she was an adjunct that taught courses in communications and composition. She would seem grossly unqualified for the position of Director of Academic Success, but I have not actually seen her vita. It seems like Dr. Dimino and Dr. Darr would make the perfect couple, since the Provost is similarly unqualified for his position.

Typically at a university there would be a job search and interviews for such an import position, particularly if the the job came with a six figure salary. (Typically Harrisburg University directors are amongst the highest paid employees at the institution. (See Harrisburg University's 990 financial statements.) To my knowledge there was no job search of any kind, so the appointment was made by the President or the Provost.

Why would they do that?

I've heard repeated allegations of nepotism, but I sincerely hope that is not the case. If that were true, it could severely damage the institution as the Director of Academic Success would not have the trust or respect of the staff, faculty and students. The Director of Academic Success needs to be 100% trustworthy and advocate for students. It would also help if they were actually qualified for the position.

This is a prime example of the nonsense and drama that goes on all the time at Harrisburg University. Where is the leadership? Assuming that the allegations of nepotism are completely false, why wasn't a proper job search conducted? Why wasn't a more qualified candidate selected? Why did administration ignore Harrisburg University's own shared governance guidelines by failing to involve the faculty and students in the process?

Why?

5 comments:

  1. They shamlessly flirt, I've seen them leave together and isee them out to lunch alot. i wonder if the lunches are on the schools dime too?

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  2. The problems: (i) favoritism and (ii) lack of communication. Lots and lots of examples of both but not for this forum.

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  3. They both should be fired!

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  4. Also, faculty now has another mole in our midst. We sometimes have need to meet without administration to discuss matters of the faculty. We can't have a private conversation with the provost's "alleged" girlfriend involved, nor does she seem to have the good sence or grace to dismiss herself.

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  5. Was she married to her last boss?

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