Resignation of the director of intercultural student affairs

Photo courtesy of Will Johnson

By: Haley Hersey, News editor

Former Director of Intercultural Student Affairs, formerly known as Intercultural Student Engagement, William “Will” Johnson resigned around October 5 or 6, but his last day at the University of Southern Maine was on October 29. November.

“By staying a little longer, it gave more time to review a job description and a search process,” Johnson said. It also helped to limit the time without a director. Due to Johnson’s stay until November, it will be three weeks without one, but winter recess will give the university time to look for a replacement. Johnson said they are working on a job description project.

Johnson said: “The movement is here to find a new manager and a replacement.” He also said that other instrumental staff also recently left the university.

“The students have benefited so much from the people who left USM in the last month or so, and it really depends on resources. I really hope that in general we take a deep look at how we support our faculty and staff. How do we ensure that we perceive their value and appreciation? It’s great to hear that you are valued, but what matters is compensation, professional development and opportunities for growth, ”he said.

Among those who have left in the past month are Anna Schwarts and Marc Roy. According to his LinkedIn profile, Schwartz stepped down as director of orientation and transition programs at USM in November. She held this position since August 2017. The same goes for Roy who was coordinator of intramural sports and USM clubs since September 2018.

“Marc completely created and implemented the intramural sports program,” Johnson said. “They (some of the senior management at USM) don’t really understand or appreciate an individual’s worth until they see what needs to be done and see all that that. individual was doing. “

“I know they (the people who have left) will be fine,” Johnson said. “It’s another reason to keep the people we have, because the talent will find opportunities. We should always do our best to keep them here. I hope USM pays attention to this.

Johnson tendered his resignation on October 5 or 6, but his last day at USM was November 29. Photo courtesy of Will Johnson

The reason for Johnson’s departure from USM “Was definitely a mix of things,” he said. “Much of the job required a lot of personal sacrifice in a personal life in order to get the job done and do it well. Higher education at this stage isn’t really able to give you what you put into it.

Johnson has said that being there for the students has always been something he enjoys, but the political aspects of that weigh on you for a while. “There are so many other ways I can make an impact on the lives of others, without sacrificing too much to do so. I realized what really mattered in the end was my integrity and my state of mind. I realized that I didn’t have to be in this job to do this (have an impact).

He said being there for the students in a proper way takes a lot of resources, and getting those resources is always a struggle. “Some members of senior management, not all, do not fully understand what it takes to manage student affairs. There is not always a sufficient understanding of what student affairs is and what student affairs does to obtain the necessary resources.
He described the fight as a “losing battle”.

When asked what the next step was for him, Johnson said: “For me, I have great opportunities that are not yet public or official, I have great opportunities on the horizon with the resources. which I need. Right now I’m just enjoying life and taking a little break from higher education. I do the things that fascinate me. One of my dreams was to work for Apple, which is an amazing company. This is where I am now, I have been there for six weeks.

“At the end of the day, I appreciate the opportunity and everything I’ve done at USM. There are a few projects that I am passionate about at USM that I will continue to volunteer on, ”said Johnson. He will continue to volunteer his time for the bias response team, among others.
“I will always be there, I am delighted that this will be my own trip,” he said. “I don’t leave college angry or bitter.”

Johnson learned a lot from his time at USM. “I would say that for any person, the value of who you are as a person is not in the work you do or the title you hold. You are valuable as a person just by existing, ”Johnson said. “For me, it was about choosing joy and keeping all the things I found special.”

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