During the State of the College Address on Sept. 19, President Mercer announced that Melissa Van Der Wall, the former director of Judicial Affairs, was stepping down to become the new director of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action. Mercer said that the college would "begin immediately to search for a new director of campus Judicial Affairs."
The search has now ended, and Kathleen Hallissey has been officially named the new director of Judicial Affairs. Hallissey joined the Ramapo staff three weeks ago and is looking forward to working with faculty, staff and students in a new environment.
"I am very happy to be here," Hallissey said. "Everybody on campus has been very, very welcoming."
Before coming to Ramapo, Hallissey was the director of Judicial Affairs at William Paterson University of New Jersey for three years. Prior to that, she worked in Residence Life at WPU for 10 years.
Hallissey said that she was very excited when the opportunity to work at Ramapo presented itself, since "the school has a good reputation for students and academics."
"Working at Ramapo is something I've always been interested in doing," Hallissey added. "The office structure was very appealing to me."
Hallissey said she is currently working on learning the policies and procedures that are in place at Ramapo, examining the Student Handbook and overseeing the installation of new software.
Judicial Review Board member Emily Egner, a sophomore, said she is happy about Hallissey's appointment.
"She was still getting used to the way things work with J-Board but seems really intelligent and excited for her new role," Egner said. "I think she'll be a really good fit for Ramapo."
However, the new director does not intend to initiate any substantial changes in the judicial review process. Hallissey believes that Ramapo currently has "top-notch programs and top-notch procedures" and that everything is "very well thought-out."
"In the short run, students should expect everything to stay exactly as it was," Hallisey said. "You have to learn and know and understand before you can say, 'I'm going to change this or I'm going to change that.' What students can expect is, perhaps, in areas that they have concerns or if they feel that the College is being too strict, that I will be open to listening to them."
One of the main difficulties for the new director will be to "approach things with a fresh eye and an open mind" after working for another institution for almost 14 years.
"The biggest challenge is remembering I'm not there," she added.