Sam: What does the job description of the ADFSL entail, and what sorts of things as the Interim ADFSL, are you doing on a day-to-day basis?
Tom: The biggest thing we work with are the governing councils of the Interfraternity Council (IFC), Panhellenic Council (PHC) and National Panhellenic Council (NPHC). Then from there, there’s also working individually with chapters regarding any concerns about behavioral issues, risk management, fire inspections, dumpster violations and a lot of nudging groups to do the right things.
Also, we’ve got a lot of planning going on right now for the fall and recruitment, alongside preparation for exposing new freshmen to fraternity and sorority life right away.
Sam: How much interaction do you have with chapters on a weekly basis?
Tom: Greek life takes up about 50 percent of my time right now. Lately, it’s been dipping into night and weekend times as well. Every chapter president meets with me at least three times per semester.
Beyond that, I have weekly IFC and PHC leadership meetings, helping with random new events and advising philanthropy event planning from 5Ks to St. Baldrick’s.
Sam: With the transition of you as both Director of Student Activities and Interim ADFSL back to the separation of the two positions, how do you foresee this affecting your role and the new person’s?
Tom: June 1 is the start date pending the approval, offer and acceptance of one of the candidates we are pursuing. I will finish out the year, but then once we have this new person, we’ll begin that transitional period to get them educated on what all it entails and how Bradley greek life functions.
Also, the position advisement has changed from the ADFSL reporting to Residential Life to them now reporting to myself.
In this particular situation, I think that’s definitely going to benefit whoever is coming in.
Sam: What is Bradley looking for in this candidate, and, a big question I think we all want to know, are the candidates greek?
Tom: Yes, we’re excited that all four applicants are greek. They’re all young professionals, and with that, we see how they are very committed to getting to know the fraternity and sorority community.
We can see them having the energy to go to those 9 p.m. meetings three times a week, and because they are young and have a fresh set of eyes, a new ADFSL is going to bring a new way of doing things to the table.
Sam: With the greek system seeing significant changes during the past two years, how do you think this will affect the role and transitioning of the new ADFSL?
Tom: It’s going to be very challenging for the new person to come in. I can imagine there will be a lot of hand holding with them through the end of December. I will be working sorority formal recruitment with the new person.
We’ve still got Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Services Norris Chase overseeing NPHC until we can transition this new person in and slowly give him or her more responsibility.
There will be lots of job shadowing in those initial six to eight months.
Sam: What was the process that led up to campus visits?
Tom: More than 40 applicants met minimum requirements of having a Master’s degree, greek experience and strong leadership development skills.
We have already interviewed 13 of the applicants by phone and narrowed it down to a top four. Those four will be making on-campus interview visits March 27, 28, 31 and April 1. Our primary search committee consists of six people, three of which are students.
When you think of the committee and how 50 percent of it is students, that shows how important student opinion is in this process.
Senior and former IFC President Alex Kaputska, junior and PHC President Liz Steinhaus and senior and NPHC President Obinna Ekwueme have all participated in our committee for every phase.
They have been vital and very opinionated, and they really have represented fraternity and sorority life well.
We also have Executive Director for the Center for Student Involvement Mike Keup, Admissions Representative and sorority Chapter Advisory Board member Allison Schieferle-Uhlenbrock and Assistant Director of Campus Recreation and Athletic Facilities Matt Lacy.
Sam: What is the timeline for this search?
Tom: Following the four on-campus interviews these next few days, and pending we find the candidate we believe we are looking for, we’ll do background checks.
The search committee will meet and collect all the information based on who the candidate met and decide who is the best for Bradley.
At that point, the name will be forwarded to Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Nathan Thomas, and pending approval, then name is sent with their résumé and experience to Human Resources for a salary assessment.
The university then makes an offer to the individual and from there it is in the hands of the candidate. They have normally have about 72 hours to get back to us.
If the candidate accepts, we won’t release anything until they sign a contract.
If none of the top four work out, our pool of the top 13 was very strong. We would dip back into that pool and repeat the process.
Sam: What makes this search different from the fall 2013 semester search?
Tom: Last fall we were getting lots of professionals, people who were looking to relocate and maybe make a change.
There were some great applicants, but none of them really fit what Bradley greek life was looking for.
Now, the applicants are interested in this specific position. We’re getting the cream of the crop this time around.
Sam: What would you tell the fraternities and the sororities to look forward to?
Tom: My full expectation is that students will leave this school year, as long as one of these four candidates is our final candidate, knowing who we are going to have as the new ADFSL.