McCormick to replace O’Connell as academic dean

By Pete Kulick
April 29, 2004

Shawn Rice

Dr. Catherine O’Connell, dean of academic affairs is leaving Cabrini to pursue a position as vice president for academic affairs and Dean of Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio. English and communications professor Dr. Charlie McCormick will replace O’Connell.

For nearly three years, O’Connell served Cabrini before deciding this opportunity was the best move for herself and her family.

In regards to her relocation, O’Connell attributes the decision to her family. “My husband wanted to return to the Midwest, and since he’s followed me for 13 years now, it was fortuitous that I found an exciting position in a location near his family,” O’Connell said.

O’Connell believes this is a great opportunity for herself. “I am looking forward to having primary responsibility for the academic program with immensely dedicated faculty and staff,” O’Connell said.

Before coming to Cabrini, O’Connell served as a faculty member at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N. Y., for 10 years. As chair of the English department, O’Connell’s interest in academic administration was sparked. She believes her time at Cabrini, interactions with students, administrators and faculty prepared her for this new position. “As dean, I have had the opportunity to mentor students and try to help in some difficult situations and this work has been most meaningful to me,” O’Connell said.

Based on the Defiance College foundation, O’Connell intends on implementing initiatives centering on a strong commitment to service learning and community engagement.

Although sorry to leave Cabrini, O’Connell believes that her successor Charlie McCormick will be able to fulfill the duties of academic dean.

Dr. Jonnie Guerra, the vice president for academic affairs, offered McCormick the position. A Cabrini professor of five years, McCormick was surprised at the opportunity. “Last week I was approached by Dr. Guerra and was offered the position. I am nervous because I never thought about an academic position,” McCormick said.

Guerra explains why she selected McCormick. “Dr. McCormick was my first choice for the job because he has worked closely with Dean O’Connell on initiatives that he will now take over and lead, and he also has demonstrated that he has significant administrative talent through his work as Director of the Honors Program,” Guerra said.

“I think the job will be a great experience and I am sure I will really enjoy it,” Dr. McCormick said of his new position.

Dr. McCormick will need to curtail one of the duties he headed prior to the new assignment. He will no longer be affiliated with Woodcrest magazine, as the requirements of both would be too demanding. However, McCormick will continue as head of the Honor’s Program. In terms of being a fulltime professor, McCormick plans on teaching one class per semester and wishes to continue being close with first-year students.

As is stated in his new contract, McCormick will hold the position for at least one year with the potential for a longer term depending on how the position is maintained.

Posted to the web by Shawn Rice

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Pete Kulick

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