By Daisy Yiu
One of Ryerson’s top administration is being stretched thin after Anita Shilton, dean of the Chang School, left Ryerson abruptly this August.
Julia Hanigsberg, Ryerson’s general counsel and secretary of the Board of Governors, just added another title to her name—interim dean of the Chang School.
Shilton’s appointment as dean began January 30, 2006 and was supposed to last for five years.
The hiring of Hanigsberg as interim dean points to a rushed departure from Shilton, whose term was not over when Hanigsberg’s appointment began on August 25, 2008.
According to Hanigsberg, Shilton simply “stepped down” and her “career was just taking her in a different direction.” When asked why Shilton left so quickly, Hanigsberg remained tight-lipped.
As interim dean, Hanigsberg will fill the position until a permanent replacement can be found. And she counts herself out of the list of candidates for the job.
“I take the position truly as an interim,” said Hanigsberg.
With three titles to her name, Hanigsberg knows what is in store for her for the rest of the year.
“I keep referring to my schedule as the atomic collider of schedules,” said Hanigsberg.
But she assures students that nothing will be falling through the cracks. “There aren’t big, important things that won’t happen… We’ll get it done.
Taking the post as interim dean was not an easy decision for Hanigsberg. It meant that she would have to take on more responsibilities while trying to hold on to as many of her previous ones as possible.
To give Hanigsberg more incentive to take the job, Ryerson president, Sheldon Levy, offered Hanigsberg the option to hire part-time staff to lighten her workload.
Hanigsberg said the president has shown great confidence in her by offering her this job and will be juggling her responsibilities until a new dean is appointed.
According to Levy, a search committee will be put together by provost and vice president academic Alan Shepard and it may be months before the position is filled.
“A search is not a trivial matter—it requires somewhere between six to eight months,” Levy said.
Until then, Hanigsberg will be juggling jobs and working to keep operations at the Chang school smooth.
“My problem was, as I said to Sheldon, I don’t want to give anything up because I really like it,” said Hanigsberg.
“He was laughing and said ‘yeah, you’re just going to have to do it all.’”
Hanigsberg called Shilton a friend and a colleague with whom she worked closely during her time at Ryerson.