In order to keep students happy and involved, colleges have created the institution of Student Affairs. Pitzer College’s Jim Marchant has been at the heart of this office for the past 10 years, but a recent internal promotion has forced Pitzer to replace him with Brian Carlisle from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.
“What inspired me [to go into Student Affairs] was probably my own experience,” said Carlisle. Part of the first generation to go to college, Carlisle recalled his own financial struggles paying for higher education. One work-study supervisor at the University of Alabama particularly inspired him. Carlisle says these factors made him “[want] to do for others what had been done for [himself.]”
Carlisle has brought this ideology to institutions of all sizes, including UCLA. “I don’t think my style changes [according to the size of the school,] per se,” Carlisle said. “[In a smaller school,] I’m afforded different opportunities.” Carlisle has already been taking advantage of these more familiar options by attending various student organizations, including Student Senate and an Orientation Adventure with Pitzer’s Class of 2017. Regarding Student Senate, Carlisle said that he loves“meaningful and thoughtful debate, [especially among students.]”
Pitzer’s Office of Student Affairs was most recently brought into the spotlight by their involvement with the investigation into last year’s alleged hate speech incident las year. At the time, the Office sent a letter to Pitzer students detailing what was happening, and urged students to “be patient.”
Carlisle seems to be adjusting well to his new settings, already befriending members of various groups such as the Pomona-Pitzer Swim and Dive Team. “It’s been two months [since I started,]” said Carlisle. “[Upon reflection, I’m] more energized than I was two months ago… [I consider education] a 2-way road, and I can’t wait to see how the students change and how they change me.”