AD, Assistant AD among twelve positions eliminated
The Lasell community was informed by President Michael Alexander of the elimination of twelve staff member positions this afternoon, June 28, in response to current and future enrollment numbers.
Included in these twelve positions cut from Lasell were both the Athletic Director as well as the Assistant Athletic Director positions.
“This difficult decision was made only after much deliberation, with an emphasis on the evolving higher education sector and developments in collegiate athletes,” Turner
said. “I understand that change brings about uncertainty, but I am confident that this decision will position the Athletic Department and our students for greater success.”
Turner said that a new senior position, Assistant Vice President of Athletics (AVP), will be created in place of the two athletic director positions.
The new AVP will be responsible for strategic planning, fundraising, alumni relations, advocacy, and enhancing overall performance, according to Turner.
“...It has become clear that the athletic department’s structure must be realigned to meet the demands for the 2023-2024 academic year and beyond,” President-Elect Eric Turner said in a statement. “After careful evaluation and consideration, we have decided to make a change that will position us for the long-term growth and expansion of the Athletics Department.”
Turner said that as the university finalizes the job description, Chief of Staff Jennifer OKeeffe will lead the Athletics Department as an interim as Lasell seeks to fill the new AVP role.
“We pledge to keep everyone informed and engaged during the period of transition,” Turner said. “And in that spirit, I encourage you to share any thoughts, questions, or concerns you may have with me regarding this restructuring.”
In addition to the twelve positions that were eliminated, four faculty members were notified that their 2024-2025 contracts will not be renewed, and several open faculty positions will not be refilled.
“These decisions are the most difficult that the Board of Trustees and I ever have to make, because they affect our valued colleagues and friends,” Alexander said. “Yet they are essential to prepare us for the demographic changes we know are coming, to position us for sustained growth, and to protect Lasell’s long-term financial future.”
Alexander said that in the last year, the university has left about 28 staff positions unfilled in an attempt to minimize the numbers of positions that they would have to eliminate. Each of these changes are made on the recommendation of the Future of Lasell Task Force.
Despite these changes, Alexander said that the university continues to make investments based on the Speed of Change strategic plan.
Other changes that are set to take place are the re-opening of the Rockwell early childhood education center as a full-time program, and the hiring of six new faculty members in “areas of growth and student demand,” according to Alexander.
Alexander said that future staffing levels in the next few years will depend on both enrollment numbers as well as the “stewardship” of Lasell’s financial resources.
The 1851 Chronicle has reached out to former Athletic Director Kristy Walter who was unavailable to comment. Former Assistant Athletic Director Caitlin Connolly was also contacted, though she has not yet responded.
“It tears at my heart to make this announcement as one of my last acts as Lasell’s president,” Alexander said. “But I am confident that this difficult decision is in the best interests of the University and its future students. And I am just as confident that the Lasell community will continue to pull together in one direction to achieve its goals and its noble purpose.”