Making way for Quinnipiac’s new strategic plan

Vice president of admissions and financial aid to leave the university

By Rachael Durand

Judy Olian is putting her strategic plan into action by making room for a new senior cabinet.

Olian announced in a recent email to faculty and staff that three vice presidents will leave Quinnipiac University at the beginning of the 2019-20 academic year.  

Greg Eichhorn, who oversees admissions and financial aid, is gone at the end of June.

Joining him in an administrative exodus -- but via retirements after years of service --  are Lynn Bushnell, vice president for public affairs, and Don Weinbach, who has been at the helm of the development and alumni affairs office since 1996. Executive Vice President and Provost Mark Thompson announced earlier this semester that he has taken the job of president at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. His last day at Quinnipiac, after a 21-year tenure, is May 31.

Unlike the retirements and Thompson’s departure for a higher position, Eichhorn is leaving under different circumstances -- he no longer fits into Olian’s plans.

The strategic plan is designed to develop Quinnipiac into a university of the future. That future did not have room for Eichhorn.

“There is a strategic shift in this position and I accept that,” Eichhorn said. “The conversations I have had with the president and provost are about the future and the strategic plan for it.”

Eichhorn, who was accompanied during the interview by John Morgan, associate vice president for public affairs, denied he was being forced out, saying his departure was a mutual decision.

“After discussions with the president and the provost, we’ve agreed that the position is going in a different direction and this is the best thing for the institution,” Eichhorn said. “And that’s what I care about.”

Eichhorn’s tenure was short. He came to the university only three years ago after serving a 24-year tenure at Albright University in Pennsylvania.

“Candidly, I was in a great place at Albright and loved it,” Eichhorn said. “Quinnipiac recruited me for a while and it finally got to the point where we said as a family, this is a great opportunity and I’ve got to take it, and I did.”

As the vice president for admissions and financial aid, Eichhorn has been in charge of overseeing graduate and undergraduate admissions and all aspects of financial aid.

An e-mail from Olian sent to faculty, staff and students on Jan. 29 regarding the strategic plan.

An e-mail from Olian sent to faculty, staff and students on Jan. 29 regarding the strategic plan.

The strategic plan, which Thompson first introduced to the Faculty Senate in late January, has four main points to be carried out over the next few years.

The purpose of this plan is to build an institution-wide mindset to prepare graduates for citizenship and 21st-century careers; create an inclusive, excellence-driven community; nurture and positively impact internal, local and global communities; and foster lifelong connections and success, according to the first draft of the Quinnipiac Strategic Plan.

Called “A blueprint for the future,” the plan took shape after faculty and staff worked in task forces to create original drafts. Olian then collated these drafts and is weighing feedback from town hall-style meetings.

The fourth of the four prongs addressed in the plan is “to foster lifelong success and communities,” which directly involves the office Eichhorn oversees.

“This position will move a little more from a recruiting (and the) financial aid program to what’s called enrollment management,” Eichhorn said. “So, it will be involved with those aspects as well as some retention aspects with the position, that’s the biggest change -- and be more involved with the provost.”

With Eichhorn leaving and the position reshaped, the search for his successor is underway.

Eichhorn said he thinks that the right person can lead the university to greater things.

“A talented person that is supported can help raise the institution to the next level,” Eichhorn said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for the person that will come into this seat after me.”

As for Eichhorn, he will seek employment in higher education, but, he hopes, with more responsibilities.

“I want to do something similar to what I am doing now,” Eichhorn said. “Maybe for a smaller institution where I have more than just admissions and financial aid. That’s what I had at Albright -- I had athletics, I had camps and conferences, so I am looking potentially for more things under the umbrella.”

Eichhorn says what’s next for him will always be a family decision.

“We are fortunate I have some options,” Eichhorn said. “We are literally weighing those and doing some travel to those locations to see what is right for my wife, my son and I.”

According to a letter to the editor published in the New Haven Register, the strategic plan has the full support of the Quinnipiac board of trustees said chairman William Weldon on behalf of the the board.

The final draft of the strategic plan will be released to faculty on May 3.