Campus News

Quick Notes on Our Way to Spring

March 19, 2014
Marvin Krislov
Photo credit: John Seyfried

The calendar, the birds, and, dare I say it, the weather, tell us that winter is waning and spring and spring break are almost here. I know everyone is quite busy with school work, research, recitals, various events, practices, and sports competitions, so this column is just some quick notes.

Symposium on Democratic Theory

I very much enjoyed this past weekend’s Symposium on Democratic Theory, hosted by the politics department and honoring Professor of Politics Harlan Wilson, who has taught political theory and inspired generations of Oberlin students. An all-Oberlin group of six distinguished scholars and teachers of political theory—Joan C. Tronto ’74, Christopher Buck ’01, Alan Houston ’80, Jamie Meyerfeld ’85, Eric Orts ’82, and Timothy Kaufman-Osborn ’76—gave papers on a range of topics engaging historical and contemporary perspectives on theories of democracy. Their presentations were compelling, and there were many touching tributes to Harlan and the impact he has had on so many Oberlin students.

South Campus Fitness

Creating a student fitness facility on south campus was one of the many initiatives put forward by the student working groups that formed around the Day of Solidarity on March 4, 2013. I’m happy to report that the new workout area is open for business in South Hall. Initial reports are that students are using the facility and are delighted that it is there. I want to thank Diane Yu ’73, vice chair of the Oberlin College Board of Trustees, for her support for this facility.

Talk to Me

I have enjoyed talking with seniors who have accepted my offer to confer on their plans for life and work after Oberlin. My offer still stands. To reiterate, I will brainstorm about job opportunities with graduating seniors who speak with the staff in our Career Center, fine tune their résumés, and prepare a brief description of their career goals. I can’t promise anyone a job. But I will do all I can to help you think about life after college and connect you with people who can offer career and job-specific advice, counsel, and, in some cases, opportunities.

Vice President for Finance and Administration

Looking ahead, our community will soon be welcoming Michael L. Frandsen, who has been selected as our new vice president for finance and administration. Mike and his wife, Sharon, plan to move to Oberlin this summer. We will also be celebrating the many accomplishments of Ron Watts, our vice president of finance. Ron has had a long and distinguished career at Oberlin, and he has helped guide us through some extraordinarily tough financial times, as well as some ambitious projects that have improved the quality of life for our campus community and the city of Oberlin.

Mike and Ron will be overlapping initially. Mike comes to us from Albion College, where he has served as the interim president for the past eight months. Prior to stepping into that position, Mike had been vice president for finance and administration at Albion since 2009. In his capacity as head of the college’s business operations, he oversaw the offices that manage finance and accounting, facilities operations, auxiliary services, human resources, and information technology.

Last, but not least, if you have a chance, take a few moments out of your busy day to get outside, get some air and exercise, and savor the warmer temperatures. I wish those of you who are traveling over spring break safe journeys. And, I wish our Yeomen and Yeowomen athletic teams that are competing over the break safe travels and great success.

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