Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013 23:03
The end of an era is swiftly approaching.
Having arrived at Lafayette in 2005, President Daniel H. Weiss plans to see the initiatives of his administration through in the waning the weeks of his administration.
“During my presidency I had to deal with various issues that are not likely to confront President Byerly,” Weiss wrote in an email.
But the tail-end of Weiss’s administration will likely focus on seeing current initiatives and programs through.
“I don’t think there is anything brand new,” Chair of the Board of Trustees Ed Ahart ‘69 said of any plans between now and the end of Weiss’s tenure.
Weiss says he is working diligently to continue leading the college as he has in the previous eight years.
The construction of the Williams Arts Campus, a Weiss brainchild, has been stalled by the discovery of a sinkhole and other “geotechnical deficiencies.” But the problems should be assessed before the current administration expires.
“We are trying to complete these new designs and complete a budget so we can make a final decision,” Ahart said.
The Implementation and Assessment Group on Greek Life (IAGGL), which was established by Weiss in late 2011, is nearing its conclusion. Weiss admits he is encouraged by the progress.
“Over the last three or four years, we’ve had a series of studies and working groups and we’re now at a stage where the standards have been set and the monitoring mechanisms are in place and the administration, the board, the students—everybody—understand where we are and we’re making good progress,” he said.
IAGGL is set to expire June 2014.
Weiss will not be here to see the first football scholarships at Lafayette, set to matriculate in the fall.
“The Patriot League has developed a series of policies. Some people are happy with them. Some people aren’t,” said Weiss, who initially opposed football scholarships in the Patriot League. “So the Patriot League is now an all-scholarship league. With regard to facilities, we’ve made improvements and investments in facilities that were necessary. They had been neglected for years, many of them, until we brought them up to speed.”
President-Elect Alison Byerly is working closely with Weiss as she prepares to depart from Middlebury College. Weiss anticipates a seamless transition.
According to Ahart, Byerly has visited campus once, briefly, since her meet-and-greet with the college community in the Farinon Atrium.
“The communication between President Weiss and President-Elect Byerly is excellent,” Ahart said. “They respect each other, they are being respectful of each other. That is, being sure they are communicating when it’s appropriate and trying not to step on each other’s toes when it’s not. I think that they share many values, most importantly the notion that all of us want Lafayette to be a really exceptional institution.”
Byerly will succeed Weiss as President on July 1.