There is inevitably a time in everyone’s career when they feel it’s time to take a knee. Now is not that time for Vice President and Dean of Students Bill Flanagan. If he’s taking a knee, it’s only to change his shoes.
Flanagan, who has been dean at the college since the summer of 1980 (when he briefly lived in Aldrich residence hall), will be spending the spring assisting with the search for his successor and preparing to take on a new role as executive advisor to the president, a move President Bierman announced on Monday.
“It is bittersweet in a lot of ways,” Flanagan says of the change. “I’ve loved being in this role. Seeing seniors cross that stage has been one of the most rewarding personal and professional experiences you can imagine.”
That said, as he sat in his office in Pearsons Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 23), he noted he’s also hungry to step into a role that will allow him to continue to work with, and on behalf of, Beloit students. Only now, instead of just serving the college’s 1,250 students, he’ll be increasingly interacting with and working on behalf of those he’s met and gotten to know over more than 30 years at the college.
“I’m really excited about this president’s vision and where we’re going,” he says.
Bill sees the next five to seven years in the college’s life as being critical to its future – and ripe with opportunity. “It’s the time when we can help the college move to the next level. I want to be a part of that.”
President Bierman said it a bit more strongly in his letter to the campus community on Monday. Bill, he said, “is the absolute right person to help orchestrate and rally the support, energies, and input required to achieve our immediate and long-term goals.”
Squeezed in at the bottom of President Bierman’s announcement about the new appointment was news that at least some things will stay the same next fall. Flanagan says he’ll still be manning the microphone at the Buccaneer football games.
“It is my favorite non-dean job. I love doing it and want to keep doing it… assuming (Coach Chris Brann) will let me!” he said.
Flanagan says his family, including wife Cathy, is excited for the change. Next summer, after all, will be the first time since 1973 that Bill isn’t fully “on call.”
“That’s going to be weird,” Bill said of that particular change. But he suspects the family won’t find it so unwelcome. “She (wife Cathy) and the kids have been so supportive all these years. We’ll enjoy it.”