In the next few months, a new face will enter the Colgate Off-Campus Study office. The university is currently searching for a new director of Off-Campus Study, a goal that hopes to be met by next semester.
This search came after the departure of previous director Barbara Gorka, who took another position at the University of Pennsylvania last August. Hugh Bradford has stepped in as the Interim Director, but he too will be leaving campus in January.
The search committee for the new director, which is lead by Associate Professor of Biology Barbara Hoopes, has narrowed its pursuit to four candidates. Just recently, the candidates came to campus and met with groups of students, as well as a number of faculty and administrators. It gave both the candidates and the Colgate community a chance to discuss the future of study abroad at Colgate.
“What was interesting about bringing these people to campus was just how passionate they found the people at Colgate were about study abroad. There was a lot of excitement for these individuals shown by many groups on campus,” Hoopes said.
Of the many qualifications necessary for this position, experience seems to take precedent over other many factors.
“We are looking for somebody who has had experience with off-campus study. They will hopefully have a vision for international study, and good communication skills with students, parents and faculty. Lastly, they will hopefully have experience themselves overseas and knowledge of different languages and cultures. The four candidates we brought to campus each had a broad range in these experiences,” Hoopes said.
Once hired, the new director will face the concern of many students and faculty to expand the number of options for off-campus study. Presently Colgate study groups travel most often to Western European countries, many of which are primarily English-speaking. It has been a recent goal of the university to look into expanding opportunities beyond that.
“We are looking for someone who can work with our already strong Colgate programs, and can also deal with the issue that has been brought up by certain conversations in the Off-Campus Study office to increase opportunities to study abroad for students,” Hoopes said.
President Jeffrey Herbst has also expressed interest in developing the Off-Campus Study office, and hopes to work with the new director when he or she is hired.
“President Herbst and the administration in general are extremely interested in the Off-Campus Study office. They want to strengthen the programs we already have and provide new opportunities for students to study abroad. The new director will hopefully work not only with faculty, but with the administration as well,” Hoopes said.
Because Bradford is leaving next semester, there is a new pressure to find his permanent replacement.
“An offer will be made to one of the candidates very soon. We are hoping to hire the new director before January,” Hoopes said.
It seems as though the search for the new Off-Campus Study director has reached its final steps. After their visit to Colgate, the four candidates have each shown their potential, and a decision is certainly imminent. Hopefully by next semester, a new member will be permanently joining the Off-Campus Study office, and will ultimately help expand students’ options for off-campus study.