This semester, former vice president of Student Affairs Alan Galsky will not be in office, as he stepped down in mid-December. A campus-wide email from President Joanne Glasser was sent two months ago explaining Galsky’s requested leave of absence to “attend to a serious family illness.”
The email stated Galsky is expected to return to campus in the fall and will work in the biology department as a tenured faculty member. Nathan Thomas, former executive director of residential living and leadership, has become the interim vice president of student affairs.
There are no discussions of who will become vice president for student affairs in the fall, Thomas said, but Thomas is guaranteed the position for the rest of the semester.
Thomas said he found out about Galsky’s request a few days before the email was sent, when Glasser asked him if he would accept the interim position.
“[Galsky] has been very good to me and an excellent role model,” Thomas said. “It’s unfortunate, the circumstances of why he is leaving, and it’s understandable that he wants to spend time with his wife. I’m wishing the best for his wife during this time.”
Working with students has always been a career goal for Thomas, he said.
“I had genuine excitement [upon being offered the position],” he said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for me with my career and things I want to do at the university. My career aspiration has always been to become a vice president for student affairs, and I get to experience this in the interim.”
Galsky has been a part of Bradley long enough to see one of the last Braves football games, the renovation of the Student Center and the men’s basketball team win the NIT championship at Madison Square Garden in New York, some of his favorite memories.
His Bradley career started in 1969 in the biology department, where he taught and conducted research until 1982. He served as associate dean of the graduate school and as director of the office for research and sponsored programs from 1982 to 1985, where he helped obtain funding for research and special programs.
Galsky became the chief student affairs officer in 1985, where his title was “associate provost for student affairs” until Glasser changed it to “vice president for student affairs.”
“I chose to come to Bradley so I could work closely with undergraduate students and…help make a difference in their education experience, careers and life,” he said. “I have been fortunate enough to serve Bradley in several important positions for a long period of time. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of these positions and my entire Bradley career.”
Administrative Assistant to Student Affairs Cindy Mooney said the transition between Galsky to Thomas has been smooth.
“The transition…has been seamless, thanks to the solid working relationships established over the years within the division of student affairs and the campus community,” she said. “It was a pleasure to work with Dr. Galsky for the past seven years. [The student affairs staff] all wish him and his family the best.”
Sophomore health science major Michael McClellan worked as a student aid for Galsky in 2011. He said Galsky would often work twelve hour days.
“He may have not had the cleanest habits or neatest handwriting, but he always had a good sense of humor,” he said. “He is a great person with a good heart, and cares very much about Bradley. I know I’m going to miss him very much [this semester].”