The Pan-Asian American Community House will most likely have to wait until the next school year to welcome in a new director.
They have narrowed down the director search process to four potential candidates, but no appointment has been made.
After former PAACH director June Chu departed in 2011 to take up the post of assistant dean to undergraduate students at Dartmouth College, the Office of the Vice Provost for University Life initiated a search for her replacement.
But while the process, which appeared to be nearing an end, brought in four finalists to campus for conversations with the Penn community, the search process has begun anew.
“Unfortunately, the search did not conclude with an appointment,” Reverend William Gipson, who served as the head of the search committee, wrote in an email. “As a result, as we do in other searches, we have re-posted the position and will bring strong candidates in for interviews.”
In its first search, VPUL circulated the position on University listservs and networks associated with Asian-American higher education professionals and formed a search committee of seven members, three of whom were students representing the Asian Pacific Student Coalition and the Asian American Studies Undergraduate Advisory Board.
According to Gipson, a new search committee of different faculty and students will be formed.
During this transition period, VPUL also appointed Meeta Kumar — the director of Outreach and Prevention at Counseling and Psychological Services — as PAACH’s interim director. For Kumar, the leadership role she has undertaken at PAACH has proven to be rewarding.
“My interim director experience has been very positive in establishing close partnerships with the staff and student communities involved with PAACH,” she wrote in an email. “We have all worked hard to maintain a high level of quality in the program that we offer.”
Behind it all, Gipson has also credited PAACH Associate Directors Sheilla Cervantes and Kusum Soin for helping operations run smoothly, stating that those involved “would have been in a terrible position were it not for these two women who have been supported ably and selflessly by Dr. Kumar since last fall.”
Still, even with the school year winding down to a close, VPUL is once more preparing to renew its search efforts.
“The new search committee will work diligently to find a permanent director as quickly as possible to bring energy, enthusiasm, and wise and capable leadership to the task at hand,” Gipson added.
APSC chair and Engineering junior Michelle Leong hopes that an appointment will be made some time before the first day of the next school year and looks forward to future collaborations with the future director. The search will continue over the summer, she said, adding that the community has not changed its standards for potential candidates.
“We’re still looking for the same qualities in the director,” Leong said. “I know that a lot of students have voiced their opinions in general body meetings and conversations in PAACH about the type of director they’re looking for. We’re just trying to find the person who’s fit for the position.”
_This article has been updated to reflect that Michelle Leong is a junior in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, not the College. _Comments powered by Disqus
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