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New head requests resumes from all 300 staff members In a move that heightened student leaders' fears that the Vice Provost for University Life's office is about to undergo a major shakeup, several University life employees were asked to submit resumes and departmental evaluations to the incoming VPUL. But Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, who will assume the position to be vacated by Kim Morrisson on January 1, said her intentions should "not be misconstrued in any way." McCoullum said the request for resumes was one of the quickest ways she could acquaint herself with the 300 VPUL staff members. In a "transition memo" to the employees, she enclosed a copy of her own resume, so that "people could get to know" her better. In the same memo, she asked employees to evaluate their departmental goals and vision in the upcoming months. But Bardo Ramirez, chairperson of the Performing Arts Council and a student who has been outspoken against VPUL changes, said the resume request might be the start of a plan to reduce staff at the VPUL office, which oversees the Student Activities Council, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs and Residential Living, among other departments. "The closest she can come to being human is asking for resumes," said Wharton senior Ramirez. "The worst way to look at it is that their jobs are in jeopardy." McCoullum responded vaguely to questions that the VPUL might be considering staff reductions. "All I can tell you is that my intent is to do the best we can to make Penn exemplary in all areas," she said. Her prime concern, she said, is protecting student interests. McCoullum did not say whether those same interests would be served by changes at VPUL. She did acknowledge, however, that "in any transition there are changes." "But changes are opportunities to move forward," McCoullum said. "I've always viewed change as something that brings excitement to an institution." Larry Moneta, associate vice provost for University life, said the recent actions have "been unnerving," but "no one has spoken with" him about a possible realignment. "I don't know what the intentions are," Moneta said. Ramirez said student leaders are not categorically opposed to changes at VPUL. He worries most that students will not be consulted on plans which Interim Provost Marvin Lazerson and McCoullum are considering. "It's understandable that there have to be cost reductions, however, a big fear is that they could be political," Ramirez said. Lazerson said he does not have a "battle plan" in his "back pocket."

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