Staffing Updates

Dear Saint Mary’s Community,

As I complete my first month at Saint Mary’s, following a six-month transition, I am grateful for the warm and kind welcome shown to me by so many of you. Each day I am reminded of how special Saint Mary’s is, and I appreciate being a part of this remarkable community.

Today I want to offer some very important updates on key staffing changes for our community. Like many institutions and businesses impacted by the global pandemic, we are experiencing much change, and even though such transitions are common across the county, they also bring a sense of uncertainty. Here at Saint Mary’s we are not used to this much change so quickly. I appreciate your input and am intent on sharing as much information as possible quickly. I also look forward to our upcoming community conversations, Faculty Day and Staff Day, when I can answer questions and hear your hopes and ideas for Saint Mary’s.

In Academic Affairs, I am excited to announce that Dr. Corey Cook, Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Planning, will serve as Interim Provost and Chief Academic Officer while we begin a search for a Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Corey has been instrumental in facilitating campus-wide committees and processes concerning strategic planning, pandemic response, academic alignment, and institutional effectiveness. Corey will provide strategic leadership to support ongoing academic and strategic priorities in collaboration with the faculty and academic leaders around institutional accreditation, transfer articulation and enrollment pathways, and academic innovation and program development.

In Enrollment and College Communications, Dr. William Mullen has accepted the position of Vice President for Enrollment Management at Willamette University in Oregon and will start his new position on September 1. During his time at Saint Mary’s, William worked across the campus to implement MySMC, redesign financial aid, create new scholarships to help improve access, develop crisis communication plans, and begin a new marketing plan. He has increased the awareness of Saint Mary’s with prospective students and has been a staunch advocate in helping enrolled students before and during the pandemic. Please join me in congratulating William on his new position and thanking him for his service to Saint Mary’s.

We are in the final stages of hiring a new Vice President for Student Life. The search committee reviewed 28 applications from which six individuals were selected as semi-finalists. The committee then narrowed the pool to three, highly qualified candidates who are interviewing this week. Please zoom into their open forums or attend them in person if possible.

These changes are substantial and happening quickly. I ask you to welcome and support our new colleagues, even as we wish those who leave a very sincere appreciation for their time and efforts.

I am very excited for this year, welcoming you back to campus, and for the positive growth we will achieve across our campus. I intend to communicate regularly, and in the coming weeks I look forward to sharing additional updates; I welcome your input and involvement. Early next week I hope to share some exciting news regarding Enrollment and College Communications.

As I continue my transition to Saint Mary’s, I have been deepening my acquaintance with the founder, Saint John Baptist de La Salle, and the many changes he and the first Lasallian Brothers experienced. I’d like to share with you this quote/prayer that serves as a good reminder for us:

Do not have any anxiety about the future, but leave everything in God’s hands, for God will take care of you. Be satisfied with what you can do, since God is satisfied with it, but do not spare yourself in what you can do with grace; and believe that, provided you want it, you can do more with the grace of God than you think.

We will move forward with grace, care, and commitment.


Best regards,

Richard Plumb, PhD