Lynda Sirk, former head of communications and Public relations for Antioch College was appointed the new head of Development and Alumni affairs, according to a press statement released by the University yesterday.
Sirk’s appointment was announced after much commotion on campus on Friday when the staff of both the Development Office and Alumni Relations office, including then head of Development Risa Grimes, were locked out of their office on Friday afternoon. “We were told to leave and we don’t have access to our first class accounts anymore, that’s all I can tell right now,” said Aimee Maruyama, head of Alumni Relations for the college in a phone interview Yesterday. Several officers had an automated out of office reply on their email boxes saying their office was closed for a long weekend and they would not be responding to their email until Tuesday.
During a conference call with Mary Lou LaPierre and Lynda Sirk from Seattle, LaPierre commented: “It is true the locks were changed. We are in the process of developing a new relationship with the alumni board. Up until now our fund raising efforts had been totally different. We told Risa and April [administrative assistant April Ratliff] who were there that, until we have that new relationship, you should take a long weekend.”
According to La Pierre employees were given the time to finish what they were doing that day. “Risa was working on a grand proposal and she got to finish that. But the entire database is in that office. We have no idea how many people have a key.” Rumors circulating on campus and alumni chat lists that the staff of the development office had been fired were refuted by LaPierre. “Risa and April will get key when they get back on Tuesday. No one will be fired.”
The reason for hiring Sirk is to assist new Chief Operating Officer Andrzej Bloch, who is in charge of operations after college president Steven Lawry stepped down effective immediately on Friday, said La Pierre. Lawry who on Friday morning was still planning with a student to join him on a trip to an alumni meeting in Chicago, had originally announced his resignation by 31 December 2007.
The reason for hiring Sirk lies in the new dual role for Bloch, who in addition to his position as Chief Operating Officer is taking on the job of Chief Academic Officer, LaPierre explained. “We needed someone with background in institutional advancement to help Andrzej with his responsibilities. Risa and the rest will have the same job when they come back on Tuesday. The task of oversight and management was given to Lynda.”