Lucye Rafferty/The Hoya Todd Olson

Vice President for Student Affairs Juan Gonzalez left Georgetown after three years in his position to accept an appointment as Vice President for Student Affairs at Arizona State University on Aug. 1.

On June 30, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson assumed the position of Interim Vice President for Student Affairs until a permanent replacement is selected.

Olson said he looks forward to preparing the Southwest Quadrangle for student activities and continuing to develop plans for the vacated New South cafeteria. He said the student affairs department will continue to work to address the needs of student safety and increasing awareness about alcohol use.

“Dr. Gonzalez was doing a fine job and I am happy to be serving in this interim capacity,” Olson said.

University President John J. DeGioia and Provost James J. O’Donnell will either decide to hire Olson as the Vice President for Student Affairs to fill Gonzalez’s shoes permanently or appoint a search committee to fill the position.

Associate Dean of Students Jeanne Lord will assume the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs position that Olson vacated and former Director of the Center for Minority Educational Affairs Dennis Williams will assume Lord’s Associate Dean of Students position.

In April, Gonzalez was named one of four finalists for Vice President of Student Affairs at Texas A&M, but none of the four finalists was offered the position.

Gonzalez said he was subject to “active recruitment” by both ASU and Texas A&M.

“I was nominated [for the position at ASU],” Gonzalez said. “I had several friends that thought I would be a perfect candidate or a competitive candidate.”

Gonzalez said that working at a larger institution and living in the Southwest were two attributes that initially attracted him to the position at ASU. He also stressed that he was intrigued by the possibilities of growth at ASU.

“I’m not leaving Georgetown because of the limitations of Georgetown or the constrictions of Georgetown,” he said. “Georgetown is an absolutely wonderful institution.”

As Vice President for Student Affairs, Gonzalez was responsible for coordinating university programs and services such as Off-Campus Student Life, Residence Life, Student Programs and the Center for Minority Educational Affairs.

In a broadcast e-mail announcing Gonzalez’s departure, DeGioia praised Gonzalez’s contributions to the Georgetown community, including his efforts to promote student leadership and his ability to improve student services. “He helped enhance many services for students, from counseling and security to off-campus student life and responding to the needs of lesbian and gay students. He also helped to address important issues such as curbing high-risk alcohol use,” DeGioia said. “I am deeply grateful for his leadership.”

Gonzalez’s decisions on several issues met with student disapproval, including the decision to end Block Party and the decision to deny funding to a proposed LGBTQ resource center. However, Gonzalez successfully managed the department though a budget crisis while expanding the role of the student affairs department and preparing new student activity programs in the Southwest Quad and the former New South dining hall.

ASU President Michael Crow said in a press release that Gonzalez’s leadership was essential for the university to expand enrollment while maintaining and improving campus community. “Juan will provide the strong, focused leadership we need in those areas that are key to student success,” Crow said.

David Young, chairman of the search committee that selected Gonzalez, said in the press release, “I think Dr. Gonzalez’ breadth of experience will serve him well at ASU. I’m impressed by his commitment to work with the faculty to enhance the learning environment, as well as his enthusiasm for making higher education an exceptional experience for all students.”

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