ASUCI Looks for New Director

Dennis Hampton served as the executive director of ASUCI for 33 years until his retirement last spring, leaving the student government with the task of finding a suitable replacement. ASUCI has narrowed its search down to four candidates and is currently in the process of interviewing the applicants.
A committee consisting of five UCI administrators and the ASUCI executive cabinet screened applications and decided which candidates would be extended an invitation for an interview.
ASUCI President Gabriel Ayass explained the initial process.
‘A pool of candidates was selected using predetermined criteria,’ Ayass said. ‘We are looking for someone with a master’s degree or seven years experience dealing in a similar capacity.’
Committee members held teleconference interviews with the candidates and deliberated over their choices for finalists before narrowing it down to four: current ASUCI Associate Executive Director Lance Maclean; Fred Lipscomb, director of Campus Village Housing; Morolake Laosebikan-Buggs, associate director of student governance at Tulane University; and Hemlata Jhaveri, area coordinator of university housing services at Illinois State University.
ASUCI would not comment further on the final candidates, for purposes of maintaining the integrity of the hiring process.
Maclean’s and Lipscomb’s final interviews were conducted last week on Jan. 11 and 13, respectively. Laosebikan-Buggs and Jhaveri will be interviewed by the legislative council this week. Students are allowed to pose questions to the candidates during an open session, with the legislative council conducting its final interview in a closed session. Whoever is deemed most qualified will be presented to the vice chancellor of student affairs for approval.
During the open session of Maclean’s interview, approximately 40 students were in attendance, including members of the legislative council. Most of the questions the students asked Maclean were vague. Among other things, students wanted to know his motivation for wanting the position and goals that he would like to accomplish as executive director.
The executive director of ASUCI is a chief administrative officer and an adviser for the student government.
‘The executive director’s position is multi-pronged,’ Ayass said. ‘The executive director serves as a chief financial official with business operations. If I were to be considered a CEO of ASUCI, he would be considered a CFO. From a non-financial point of view, he provides direction and supervision for staff.’
Ayass also emphasized a model candidate as a person who would not only be experienced in finance, but who would also be a role model for students.
‘We are looking for someone who has a solid understanding of business operations and accounting,’ Ayass said. ‘The executive director needs to be very flexible and able to handle working in an environment that varies with its professionalism. We would like someone who has a vested interest in the university and its well-being, someone who can serve as a mentor to students, interns and staff.’
According to the job description, applicants must also ‘have experience in complex organizational management, including annual budget planning, capital and strategic planning and knowledge of legal issues related to student government and activities,’ as well as ‘a demonstrated commitment to working collaboratively, experience in problem solving and mediating effectively with diverse groups of students, staff and faculty.’
The executive director oversees the actions of ASUCI but does not dictate policy, and instead helps to execute ASUCI’s decisions.
‘The entire composition of the budget is done by students,’ Ayass said. ‘Students make the decisions on which programs to put on. The new executive will need to respect the autonomy of the student government and its student-run nature.’
Applications were sent to UCI’s Department of Human Resources, which is in charge of recruiting employees. The job description was also posted in the Chronicle of Higher Education and also on various Web sites of professional organizations in higher education.
ASUCI hopes to fill the position before the end of winter quarter.

Contributions made by Aubrey Manahl