Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Adrienne Oddi to Depart in July, Tripod Examines Administrative Turnover

Jack P. Carroll ‘24

Managing Editor 

Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Adrienne Oddi will be leaving Trinity College at the end of July to pursue another career option, according to an email from Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management Joe DiChristina on July 8. Terry Cowdrey, who has served in the same position at St. Lawrence University and Colby College, will replace Oddi in the interim. The search for a new dean will begin in the early fall with a hire date planned for the late spring of 2022.  

In his message to students, faculty, and staff, DiChristina wrote, “Adrienne joined the Trinity in August 2019, and since that time, she has helped to lead our strategic efforts to enroll, retain, and graduate an academically talented and diverse student body.” He added, “I am proud of Adrienne’s work to provide students access to education and to support our efforts to develop an inclusive and caring community. Our entire community wishes Adrienne well in her next endeavor.” 

Chief of Staff and Vice President for External Affairs Jason Rojas informed the Tripod that Oddi was offered a Vice President level opportunity at another institution that she accepted. However, he did not name the institution and instead stated, “The institution she is transitioning to will announce her hire in the near future.” 

When asked about the hiring process for the position of interim dean of admissions and financial aid, Rojas stated that “We engaged with professionals from across the field and Ms. Cowdery came as a recommendation for this interim role.” He added, “This position is a one-year appointment and we moved quickly with this appointment. Therefore, President Berger-Sweeney and Vice President DiChristina managed this interim hire.” Rojas further stated, “As we begin to organize a search for a new dean of admissions and financial aid the community will be involved consistent with other searches.” 

Over the course of the past two years, Trinity has experienced an unprecedented number of administrative departures. In June, Brian Heavren retired from his position as Director of Campus Safety; that same month, former Vice President for Communications Angela Schaeffer left Trinity to launch a strategic consultancy; and Kathryn Wojcik resigned from her role as Director of Campus Life in May to pursue a Master’s Degree in HealthCare Administration at Boston College. 

Further administrative departures from recent years include: Angel Perez, Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management; Tim Cresswell, Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs; Melanie Stein, Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Mathematics; Anne Lambright, Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Language and Cultural Studies; Allison Read, College Chaplain; Beth Iacampo, Human Resources Director; Karla Suprlock-Evans, Senior Diversity Officer; and Sue Aber, Vice President for Information Services. 

Responding to questions about Trinity’s high administrative turnover rate, Rojas told the Tripod “Not sure what you are using as your baseline but it’s inaccurate to suggest that there have been ‘unprecedented departures.’ Some individuals have simply retired, others were influenced by personal matters while some have moved on to new opportunities.” Rojas noted, “We don’t see the recent transitions as being high turnover and when individuals do leave, it presents an opportunity to bring on new leaders and perspectives. For example, we have appointed dynamic individuals to serve as our next Chaplain and Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life and Vice President for Library and Information Technology Services.” Rojas added, “Trinity remains a first choice institution for faculty and staff.” 

Many Trinity graduates, a part of the Facebook group “Alumni For a Better Trinity College,” expressed disappointment about the administrative turnover rate when reacting to a copy of DiChristina’s email announcing Oddi’s departure. Comments from alumni called for the College to assign more Trinity graduates to administrative positions. One graduate’s comment, which received twelve likes, stated that it is “Time for alumni to fill this role. Two year tenure after a national search is a failed hire or just part of an unsustainable culture in which private career goals trump mission of the college.” Responding to the previous comment, another Trinity alumna commented “Completely agree! I can’t believe that there is not a Trinity Alumni with credentials and experience to fulfill this role. We need someone fully committed to the college and its core values.” 

This article was updated on Sunday, July 25th 2021 to include additional administrative departures which were not originally cited.

Adrienne Oddi will serve as Vice President of Strategic Enrollment and Communications at Queens University of Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to a news post on the university’s website from Tuesday, July 27th.

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