Before you ring in the new year, check out The Hatchet’s rundown of GW’s biggest stories of 2012.
Long-serving student life head retires, provost gains more power Feb. 13
Former University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, right, described Robert Chernak, left, as the Robin to his Batman during their 19 years leading GW. Hatchet file photo.
Robert Chernak, who was the University’s top student life official, retired in June after 24 years. The former senior vice president for Student and Academic Support Services was one of the last top administrators from university president Stephen Joel Trachtenberg’s administration and raised the quality of GW’s residential life and students. He also oversaw a massive growth in applicants and boosts in financial aid packages in his two decades at the University. His departure prompted a shift of student life, admissions and financial aid offices under Provost Steven Lerman for the first time – adding an academic angle to the student experience.
GW hires standout Notre Dame assistant coach April 4
Jonathan Tsipis. Hatchet file photo.
The Colonials brought on Jonathan Tsipis to lead the women’s basketball program after firing Mike Bozeman in March. Tsipis spent nine years as an assistant coach at Notre Dame, helping the Fighting Irish to five NCAA Sweet 16 appearances and back-to-back championship games. Those experiences could help him rebuild GW’s sliding program.
Columbian College leader steps down May 14
A month after faculty gave Peg Barratt harsh feedback in a staff evaluation, Peg Barratt announced she would step down at the end of the 2012-2013 academic year. Barratt, who led the University’s largest college for five years, is its longest-serving dean in nearly three decades. Her tenure boasts accomplishments like increased fundraising, following a mandate from University President Steven Knapp that deans spend 40 to 50 percent of their time fundraising, and new hires. The school is also creating a global degree program, planning several departments’ moves into the Science and Engineering Hall and preparing for the implementation of the strategic plan.
New logo revealed Aug. 27
After two years of work by top-notch branding agencies, the University unveiled its new logo in August. Administrators declined to comment on the cost of GW’s new “visual identity,” but similar recent campaigns at Michigan State and Air Malta cost $468,000 and $501,000, respectively. The redesigned seal came in three versions that feature a sans serif font and George Washington facing forward with an upward tilt. A Hatchet survey found that 52 percent of the 122 individuals interviewed disliked the new design, while 24 percent approved and 24 percent did not care.
University unveils draft of 10-year strategic plan Oct. 11
The University proposed $300 million to $400 million in academic investments, including a classified research center, academic minors devoted to AIDS and obesity, improved performing arts venues and lectures by “prominent policymakers.” Under the plan, which goes to the Board of Trustees for final approval in February, applicants would no longer apply to separate colleges and would instead be admitted to the University as a whole. It also called for a 7 percent boost in the international student population and up to 100 new faculty positions.
Superdorm to cost $130 million Oct. 22
The Board of Trustees gave the go-ahead to build GW’s most expensive residence hall in October. The 850-bed “superdorm” will combine the freshman Crawford Hall and the sophomore halls The West End and The Schenley. The three-year construction project will begin in summer 2013, adding an extra 300 beds to the Foggy Bottom Campus and retail space along I Street.
Students climb the trees in front of the White House on election night. Hatchet file photo by Jordan Emont | Photo Editor
Students storm White House for Obama’s second election win Nov. 8
Students swarmed toward the White House after President Barrack Obama defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney and secured a second term. Thousands darted down Pennsylvania Avenue after the announcement at about 11:15 p.m. – earlier than most analysts had predicted, climbing trees in front of the White House’s North Lawn and chanting “four more years.”
Law dean resigns to lead online learning Nov. 15
GW Law School Dean Paul Berman announced he would step down in January 2013, after just 18 months of leading the No. 20-ranked school. Berman will fill a new post in the provost’s cabinet, becoming the first-ever vice provost for online education and academic innovation. He will leave the law school, struggling with declining enrollment and shrinking job prospects for graduates like most across the country, in the hands of long-time professor Gregory Maggs. The two-time interim dean will look to boost fundraising while the University searches for a permanent leader in fall 2013.
GW unranked Nov. 15
U.S. News and World Report pulled GW off its top colleges ranking in November, after the University disclosed it had been inflating admissions data for at least a decade. GW had landed at No. 51 in the magazine’s 2013 list, released in September, but will remain “unranked” until next year’s ranking is compiled. Administrators announced Nov. 8 that the Office of Admissions had botched freshman profile statistics, calculating that 78 percent of the Class of 2015 made it into the top 10 percent of their high school classes. The figure was actually 58 percent. Knapp has said the misreporting was unintentional.
Associate Vice President and Dean of Admissions Kathryn Napper will not return to GW in 2013. Hatchet file photo.
Admissions dean to step down one month after unranking Dec. 12
Head of the admissions office Kathryn Napper announced Dec. 12 that she would retire by the end of the year – five weeks after the University came clean on reporting inaccurate admissions data. Napper, a triple alumna who spent 35 years at GW, refused interviews since Knapp disclosed that GW had inflated data. Napper’s exit will leave the admissions dean post vacant until GW hires a enrollment manger, for which a search has been in the works for more than six months.