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Beloit SEAL director Walsh takes job at UW-Madison

Beloit College is set to prepare for another departure from its ranks. Director of Student Engagement and Leadership Jen Walsh will leave the college this month. 

This impending loss adds to the expanding list of departures since the end of the spring 2018 semester, which includes former Provost and Dean of the College Ann Davies, Dean of Students Christina Klawitter’98, and Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life John Winkelmann. 

The changes within Beloit’s administration coincide with the news of the $7 million deficit that the college faces, as well as the advent of the “Beloit Forward” plan. Beloit Forward calls for a “significant reduction” in “both faculty and staff” primarily through “retirements, and those positions not being replaced as frequently as they have been.”

Walsh revealed her acceptance of a position at University of Wisconsin-Madison in an email to Programming Board, one of many Beloit College organizations with which she was involved.

“What a wild ride it’s been!” Walsh wrote. “I have truly enjoyed working with you all and am very proud of the work you have accomplished.”

Her last day at the college will be Friday, Dec. 7.

Walsh will leave Beloit voluntarily to become Madison’s Assistant Director of Summer Advising Initiatives, a new position at the school. The job entails working “collaboratively with the Center for the First-Year Experience, Summer Team and other campus partners to provide leadership and coordination of advising for new student orientation, early start initiatives and admissions programs,” Walsh told The Round Table via email.

Pat Walsh, former Director of Admission and Recruitment at Beloit and Walsh’s husband, now works as an enrollment specialist at University of Wisconsin-Madison, which was part of Walsh’s motivation to accept her new position.

“My husband has been working in Madison for the past year while commuting [to and from] Beloit,” Walsh said, “so it has been our priority to have our family back in the same place again.”

Walsh was hired as Beloit’s Director of Student Engagement and Leadership in 2013, and has since made her mark as one of the college’s most prominent figures. She worked closely with orientation leaders, student government, Programming Board and a “variety of student employees.” She also oversaw New Student Days, the WBCR-FM Radio Station, Greek Life, C-Haus, leadership programs, all student clubs and student activity fee management.

Walsh will join another former member of Beloit’s administration in Madison. Klawitter stepped down as Dean of Students at Beloit to accept a position as the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education’s associate dean for student academic affairs.

Prior to her time at Beloit, Walsh worked as the Leadership Programs Coordinator at Ithaca College in New York for three years. She graduated with a degree in Public Relations from Loras College in Iowa in 2004 and eventually went on to receive her Master’s in College Student Personnel from Western Illinois University.

Walsh was overseeing the restoration of C-Haus, Beloit College’s on-campus bar and music venue that was closed at the beginning of the academic year due to safety and accessibility concerns. Her absence will not affect the project’s progress, according to members of Beloit Student Government (BSG), which has nonetheless moved slower than anticipated.

“The project is moving forward,” BSG co-president Farhan Tahir’19 said. “Jen leaving wouldn’t necessarily change anything. Quotes took a while to get approved but now renovations are starting from [Tuesday, Dec. 4]… [The] first floor will be made fully accessible and ready to use by next semester.”

“Due to the lack of responses by the construction companies, we were unable to get started on the renovations at the time we hoped (pre-fall break),” fellow BSG co-president Danny O’Leary’20 said. “[It] was only last week when we got responses and now are scheduled to have the renovations begin next week.

It is unclear who will oversee many of the organizations Walsh directed.

Staff departures from Beloit College are likely to continue in the near future, as several non-tenure track professors are set to leave at the end of the 2018-2019 academic year.

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