By Drew Halfnight
One of Ryerson’s Old Guard will retire at the end of this school year.
Director of Student Services Marion Creery will finish at Ryerson in May after 20 years spent in service to the school. Creery’s unanticipated departure was confirmed in an e-mail sent by Vice-Provost Students Zouheir Fawaz to staff yesterday morning.
The two-part memo also announced that Student Services would undergo a major “review and assessment,” effective immediately, conducted by student services expert David McMurray.
Fawaz said there was no connection between the two announcements, adding that Creery “did a fantastic job” and “will be missed.”
When asked last week, Creery refused to discuss a potential retirement, saying that it was the university’s prerogative to announce it. Yesterday she deferred some questions until closer to the end of her term. “This is not goodbye. This is another day of work,” she said. “We want to make this an excellent year.”
Asked if she felt ready to leave, Creery smiled and said “not at this moment,” adding “I’m not really thinking about leaving.”
As head of Student Services, Creery oversees 14 of the school’s most sensitive and demanding files, including housing, sports and the Access Centre.
Creery’s resignation came as a surprise to many of her staff.
“All of us knew that she was going to retire at some point, but we were surprised because we didn’t know when,” said interim athletic director Jean Kennedy. “She’s a very creative and innovative person.”
During her tenure, Creery tripled the number of staff working at Student Services, doubled the number of departments in her charge, and saw housing expand from 35 students in a single building to 850 in four. She took over the Career Centre and initiated the school’s oft-touted Tri-Mentoring program.
Last year she found herself at the centre of controversy after firing Terry Haggerty and David Dubois, two popular sports administrators.
Creery said her legacy will continue in the form of two major initiatives: Decentralizing Student Services — moving more staff and resources into the faculties — and fostering community-oriented student projects.
Monica McKay, who works at Aboriginal Student Services, had kind words for her boss. “I’ll miss her leadership and vision. I’ve appreciated her support for the development of aboriginal services at Ryerson,” she said.
— With files from Alexandra Yeboah