Sullivan creates task force on task forces

Committee will oversee operations of other committees

In response to widespread frustration with the efficacy of current administrative committees, University President Teresa Sullivan announced Tuesday the creation of a new task force aimed at improving existing task forces.

“The University takes seriously the issue [of maintaining task forces],” Sullivan said in a statement released Tuesday. “We have been taking a leadership role in this area for many years and will continue to do so.”

The decision to create the task force stemmed from an investigation she requested regarding the efficacy of existing task forces, Sullivan said. Sullivan requested this investigation after students protested everything about their University experience. Last week, following a student march to Carr’s Hill to demonstrate frustration, she promptly began putting together this new task force, which, she said, is an appropriate response.

“It is clear to me students are frustrated with the lack of accountability in our existing task forces,” Sullivan said. “This new task force aims to improve that.”

Student Council President Abe Axler expressed support for Sullivan’s decision.

“Strong leadership is important for the University right now,” Axler said. “I hope this decision will help promote student self-governance, and the Student Council will be hosting a forum later this week to mediate a conversation.”

Current members of the task force include Dean of Students Allen Groves, Pat Lampkin, vice president of student affairs, Nick Hine, outgoing Honor Committee chair and prominent member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, and Patrick Kyle, president of Phi Delta Theta. Sullivan expects to appoint three more members, including a token black student, in the coming weeks.

“The organizations represented on this task force are the most important ones this University has to offer,” Sullivan said in her statement. “The Honor Committee and Phi Delta Theta are what make our school great, and I have no doubt that with these students’ help we will be able to vastly improve our existing task force system.”

According to her statement, the current task force members will be involved in the selection process for the remaining members. Sullivan has expressed her hope that the token black student slot be given to Jalen Ross, outgoing Student Council president and another member of Phi Delta Theta.

“I’m certainly glad Phi Delt will have representation on this task force and in the selection process,” Kyle said. “We have a lot of organizational and substantive skills to offer, and it would be a shame for those skills not to be present on yet another platform at the University.”

According to Kyle, the first task to complete for members of the task force will be naming the task force. Currently, they are considering “The Task Force on Task Forces.”

Eventually, Kyle said, the task force will report to the Board of Visitors at its next meeting to reveal the task force’s findings.

Should the task force itself prove ineffective, Sullivan has yet to determine whether she will then require an additional task force to oversee this new one.

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