What are the main objectives of a campus president? As an administrator, almost every aspect of the university, from residence life to wellness and academics is concerned.
“The first thing to have in mind is to reestablish a community,” said Don Brezinski, the Executive Interim Vice President.
Brezinski entered his role after serving as President LeBlanc’s chief of staff and was appointed during the spring of 2021 before taking on a larger role starting in October. His appointment came at a turbulent time, as SNHU was considering how to bring students back to campus and readjust them to college life after a year online.
“First of all…the campus was shut down for a year…[and] people are coming back in a less than ideal environment,” said Brezinski. “At the beginning of a fall semester, typically 25% of undergraduates have never been on campus. This time, 50% of undergraduates have never been on a college campus.”
While the primary goal of the campus vice president was rebuilding the campus community, he recognized this as a wide-reaching effort. “Do students have the resources [to find] the answers?” Ultimately, Brezinski is most concerned that students feel confident that they live in a community where they know where they can look for answers.
A part of building a strong community is also developing stability. Specifically, how to make changing information from the administration seem less erratic as the campus moves past the dynamic conditions brought on by COVID.
“The other goal is to…stop surprises. We don’t like changing course more than anyone else does. If we can create this sense of stability, I think it will enable the faculty to do their [jobs] better, and it will enable students to work on their studies more.” If SNHU is going to move past COVID, then stability will be the key. In the upcoming semesters, students will be interested to see how the administration will ensure that there is a consistent voice across campus.
While Brezinski is slated to serve as campus vice president for only another year and a half, the future of campus is still a primary goal. “What I hope the campus will look like in five years is a place…with clarity and confidence. However, we cannot say what programs will be very popular.”
While this means the campus wants clarity in its message, Brezinski was hesitant to give any clear visions. “We don’t want to put a stake in the ground and say we are going to [follow this plan] and never change.” Understandably, the university staff’s plans are still in development and will not be revealed to students just yet. However, it’s important for students to understand what the broader academic goals of the administration are.
If students know the expectations for the school, it becomes easier to determine if SNHU is worth investing four years into. A stable community will depend on strong and consistent communication with an administration that recognizes the needs of all parts of campus and makes it clear what it expects of its students, and what students are going to receive.