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The Office of Career Development will become part of a larger team overseen by Dean Avis Hinkson and Provost Linda Bell.

Barnard will undergo significant leadership changes this semester, Dean of the College Avis Hinkson announced in an email sent to the Barnard community on Tuesday. The position of director of career development will be eliminated, moving its corresponding office under the direction of senior administrators. Dean of Enrollment Jennifer Fondiller will also be promoted to the role of Vice President for Enrollment.

The Office of Career Development will become part of a larger team overseen by Hinkson and Provost Linda Bell that will focus on both graduate school and career preparation, while current Director of Career Development Robert Earl will depart from the college but will serve as an outside consultant to assist in the transition period over the next few months. These changes will make it possible to better support current students and graduates, Hinkson wrote in the email.

Last semester, the office underwent significant changes, including migrating to a new job database, Handshake, and unveiling new survey methods to better track the career success of graduates. But despite these new efforts, students have consistently expressed concern that the office does not effectively meet student needs.

Of those who responded to this fall’s Desserts After Dark survey, an optional survey conducted by Barnard’s Student Government Association’s campus life committee every semester, less than 4 percent of respondents said mock interview prep provided for students in STEM fields was very effective or effective. Similarly, less than 1 percent of respondents said the office was effective in helping find job opportunities for those interested in pursuing careers in the arts.

Additionally, during his time at Barnard, Earl faced at least two formal complaints filed with Barnard’s Human Resources Department five years apart. Both complaints alleged that Earl cultivated a toxic work environment.

Despite these complaints, Earl was not removed from his position.

Hinkson expressed gratitude for Earl’s work at Barnard and acknowledged his work expanding the College’s career support offerings, including his launch of a Wall Street Prep program to assist students interested in investment banking, an international internship program, and a technology career fair.

In the same email, Hinkson also announced the promotion of Dean of Enrollment Management Jennifer Fondiller, BC ’88, to the position of vice president for enrollment. Fondiller will now serve as a member of President Beilock’s senior administrative team and will work directly alongside Bell, Hinkson, and other senior administrators to determine how best to communicate the College’s mission.

Fondiller began working at Barnard in 2000 as Dean of Admissions and began serving as Dean of Enrollment Management in 2012. During her time at Barnard, the Office of Admissions has seen increased success in attracting a diverse pool of applicants, Hinkson wrote.

Read the full email from Hinkson below.

Dear Barnard Students,

Welcome to the spring semester! I hope that you got some well-deserved rest during the winter break and found time to do something you enjoy. I imagine you are feeling excitement--and perhaps some anxiety--about the start of the semester. Please remember that your class deans and many others are here to help as you begin this next phase of your Barnard experience.

I would like to make you aware of two personnel changes in offices that work on behalf of students.

Dean of Enrollment Management Jennifer Fondiller ’88 will join President Beilock’s senior administrative team as Vice President for Enrollment. This promotion will allow Dean Fondiller and her team to work directly alongside Provost Linda Bell, myself and other senior leaders to ensure that we are best able to communicate the College’s academic strengths and our unique place in higher education to a broad audience. Under Dean Fondiller’s leadership, Barnard has made great strides in identifying students who have both the academic preparation to succeed at the College and will engage powerfully with the particular opportunities we offer. Barnard has also successfully broadened the racial and ethnic diversity of incoming classes and sustained its commitment to admitting students without regard to financial need so that students from all backgrounds can attend. I hope you will join me in congratulating Dean Fondiller.

I also want to let you know that we are making some changes to improve the quality of programs that support students as undergraduates and after they graduate. The Office of Career Development will become part of a larger team that Provost Linda Bell and I will oversee, focused on both graduate school and career preparation. Director of Career Development Robert Earl will transition into a consulting role and will work with us over the next few months to assist the transition. Students who have worked with Mr. Earl can schedule future appointments by emailing Greg Triandis at gtriandi@barnard.edu.

During his time here, Mr. Earl increased the number of students and alumnae who take advantage of available career planning and advising resources, both in person and online. In addition, he has expanded the College’s career support offerings in several sectors, launching a Wall Street Prep program for students interested in investment banking, an international internship program and, more recently, a Technology Career Fair that helped to establish Barnard as a hiring source in an industry of increasing priority to students.

We are grateful for Mr. Earl’s work at Barnard and appreciate his willingness to assist us during this transition period. Together with President Beilock and Provost Bell, I look forward to sharing more with you soon about new initiatives being put in place to help support you during your time at Barnard, through graduation, and beyond.

Respectfully,

Avis E. Hinkson

Dean of the College

aubri.juhasz@columbiaspectator.com | @aubriruth

Robert Earl Office of Career Development
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