Transition Committee

Courtney Garloff, Reporter

The Presidential Transition Committee will be hard at work to help say good-bye to Dr. Michael MacDowell and help prepare Dr. Thomas Botzman to ease his way into Dallas, PA while students enjoy summer vacation.

Members work to honor and thank MacDowell and his wife Tina for their 15 years of service and welcome Botzman, as they keep faculty, students and members of the university community involved and informed.

“We set up several events for Dr. MacDowell such as a faculty farewell reception,” said history professor and Faculty Senate Chair Dr. David Wright.

All groups of the Misericordia community will have their chance to say good-bye. Students held a thank you event on April 24 during which they presented a trophy to honor the president’s years of playing in the Spring Weekend volleyball tournament hosted by SGA and to thank him for his service to the university.

Faculty members held a farewell reception to  honor the MacDowells on May 14.

On June 1, the committee will hold a fundraising roast of MacDowell at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Wilkes-Barre.

According to Staff Council Chair Martha Stevenson,  committee members are also planning surprises to thank the MacDowells for their years of service.

The committee is also taking action to acclimate Botzman, the university’s 13th president, to the university community.

Before his inauguration on November 15 Botzman will meet with members of student government, the faculty senate and university benefactors.

“We really tried to brainstorm who are all the different people he should meet so when he arrives he knows people, and knows who does what and has some sense of the challenges we face and plans we have made,” said Wright.

The transition committee sent the new president reading materials and information to brief him on everything the university is planning and facing. They also provided him with materials about the region.

According to the Charge to the Presidential Transition Committee, a document created by the Board of Trustees, the Presidential Transition Committee has four purposes. These include transition between retiring President MacDowell and incoming President Botzman, to celebrate the contributions of the retiring president, to introduce the new president to all aspects of the university and life at the university, and to see that the university community is able to be fully engaged in this important transition.

“The goal of the committee is to provide a seamless transition from President MacDowell to Dr. Botzman, so that we have a sense that we have continuous leadership during the course of the transition,” said Wright.

John Metz, Chair of the Board of Trustees, selected the members of the transition committee. Many members had previously served as members on the Presidential Selection Committee.

Committee members’ addtional responsibilities include helping Botzman to meet with each member of the Board of Trustees, and to report to the Board of Trustees regularly about planned events.

Wright said serving on the selection committee helped him to better understand the job of the president.

“I got a better idea of what the job of the president is, the different stake holders that the president has to be in good communication with, wither it’s donors, the Sisters of Mercy, faculty, staff, students, alumni,” Wright said.

The committee will work with Botzman until he officially takes office.

The members serving on the presidential transition committee are  Sister Mary Ann Dillon,  Committee Chair; Chris Borton, Trustee; Sue Helwig, Vice President for University Advancement; David Wright Chair of the Faculty Senate; Martha Stevenson Staff Council Chairl and Carol Fahnestock, Administrative Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Board of Trustees.

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