Tom Hill on the departure of the staff and administration


Photo: Bertha Bush/Iowa State Daily

Thomas Hill, vice president for Student Affairs, speaks of his feelings about the resignation of President Geoffroy June 15.

Ben Theobald

Three ISU administrators will soon bid farewell to Iowa State. President Gregory Geoffroy, Dean of Students Dione Somerville and Margaret Sloss Women’s Center Director Penny Rice will all be leaving Iowa State within the next year.

Vice President for Student Affairs Tom Hill has been at Iowa State for 14 years, and has seen many faculty members and administrators leave the university. Regarding the recent departures, Hill said that he is sad to see Geoffroy, Somerville and Rice go, but he’s also excited for them to achieve their professional goals.

“All three of them are all moving on to things they want and that’s what we work hard for — to do the things we want to do,” Hill said.

President Geoffroy announced in March that he will be stepping down from his position by July 2012. Geoffroy became president of Iowa State in July 1, 2001.

“I’m sorry to see him leave,” said Tom Hill, vice president for student affairs. “I’m disappointed from a personal point of view that he decided to step down. I do understand the reasoning, but it’s like you get into a rhythm or a position where things begin to work well, and they’re working really well right now.”

There are many examples of the accomplishments that President Geoffroy has achieved during his years at Iowa State, Hill said.

“You look at just any indication, any criteria that would give you a sense of success — or whatever the case may be —  like enrollment,” Hill said. “He’s done a fantastic job.”

Hill also said that President Geoffroy would probably like to have his successor named around January.

“We would like to have him go all the way through the 30th of June of 2012,” Hill said.

Dione Somerville announced in May that she will also be departing from Iowa State. Somerville will be the vice president of student affairs at Pennsylvania’s Bloomberg University.

“It’s a great opportunity and a great career move,” Hill said. “It’s advancement, which is what we worked hard for. It’s a fantastic opportunity for her.”

Penny Rice, director of Margaret Sloss Women’s Center, will be departing Iowa State to become an assistant professor in the department of counseling and student personnel at Minnesota State-Mankato.

“Penny has been a real asset to the dean of students office staff, the division and the university,” Hill said. “She’s a strong supporter of a lot of students in special populations.”

Hill said that as the director of the center, Rice has been a clear role model for women.

“She’s been an advocate for women and issues that they face as well as a real supporter,” Hill said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for her. She’ll be able to take a lot of experience she’s gained as the director of women’s center and [as] an administrator into the classroom to help prepare the next generation of professionals.”

“We’re going to have the task of filling their positions, but we’ll do that,” Hill said.

Hill thinks Somerville and Rice’s departures reflect the popular perception of Iowa State.

“I think it speaks well for Iowa State in terms of the experiences and the regards that others have for people who work at ISU,” Hill said. “They look at us as a training ground, with that comes some challenges. When you have good people, there will be other people who want those good people, so you have to be sure you fill those positions with equally good individuals.”