Director of Student Programs candidate discusses future goal

By Amanda Hunt

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The interim director of the Department of Student Programs was the second of three candidates to be reviewed for the position as director of the department, yesterday.

Dan Maxwell, in a student session and a student affairs session, discussed his experience at the University of Arizona and plans for leading the department if hired.

Maxwell said his primary goal is to foster as much interaction as possible between students, faculty and programs within the department. He said the department needs to work towards welcoming students who want to be involved in campus activities and aiding them in finding out how.

Maxwell wants to offer students "a one-stop shopping place" for accessing student programs. He said one of the biggest challenges he faces is getting students to know "who we are and what we do." He emphasized the need for co-curriculum and balancing education with student programs.

Maxwell and two other candidates are finalists in a nationwide search for the director of the Department of Student Programs. About 50 applicants put in for the position, which pays about $45,000 per year and has been open since Carol Thompson took a position as associate dean of students in June 1993.

The job includes overseeing student government, Greek Life, the University Activities Board, various student organizations, Family Weekend, KAMP student radio and the Center for Off-Campus students.

Candidate Gayle Spencer, who is assistant director of student activities at the University of Notre Dame was featured in a Wildcat article on Tuesday and candidate Tom Jackson, who is director of the student activities center at the University of Texas-El Paso, will be featured in an article on Monday following his sessions on Friday.

Funding was a large topic of discussion in the student sessions and the student affairs session. Maxwell discussed the possibility of adopting a student activities fee to help support the department and allocate more funds.

He said he would also like students to be

more aware of how their money is spent.

"If they don't already know how the money is spent it is our job to let them know," Maxwell said.

Maxwell has served as interim director since 1994, assistant director for Greek Life programs from 1992 to 1994 and Greek Life coordinator and various other advisory and directory positions since 1987.

Based on his background experience at the UA, the student representatives agreed that Maxwell is well-qualified for the position.

"He will be very effective because he has been through all of the work (the job requires)," said Jamie Foster, chemistry freshman and representative from the Off-Campus Student Center.

Residence Hall Association President Doug Mings said it is good that Maxwell has the budgetary knowledge to help the department meet its goals.

Brian Schwartz, a communications senior who represents a variety of programs, said he agreed that Maxwell's experience gives him an edge but "some fresh blood would bring in some fresh ideas" which may be what the university needs.

The students, as well as other university employees Maxwell met with earlier in the day, were asked to complete evaluations that will be used to determine who is hired for the job.

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