Unexpected departure puts an end to his controversial tenure as Vice President of Student Life
On October 16, President Audrey Bilger released a statement explaining that current Vice President of Student Life Mike Brody will be stepping down from his position come the end of the 2019-2020 school year. “Mike has been a dedicated leader at Reed for 17 years, and on behalf of the entire Reed community, I express my deep gratitude to him for his extraordinary contributions and deep commitment to helping students succeed at and beyond Reed,” Bilger wrote.
The announcement came less than two weeks after Student Body President Pax Lloyd-Burchett published an open letter to the administration in the Quest, in which he told the administration that “you’ve lost the trust of students.” That letter echoed the sentiments of several student groups, such as Reedies Against Racism, Reedies for Food Rights, and, most recently, the Students with Disabilities Coalition, each of whom have repeatedly voiced their frustrations with the administration for failing to respond to their concerns.
Brody has also been connected to several staff departures in the last several years. Former Director of the Office for Student Engagement Jamila Dozier, for example, claimed on Twitter that the “terrible leadership” displayed by Brody “has led to the current state of the HCC and Student Life division.” Staff departures have been responsible for the temporary closure of the counselling services of the Health and Counseling Center, as well as destabilizing the administrative departments of Student Life, Inclusive Community, and Student Engagement. Administrators of color have left Reed in especially high numbers recently, including Dozier who vacated the Director of Student Engagement position and Bruce Smith leaving his post as Dean of Students.
In a letter to “Reed families and friends,” Brody emphasized that “Audrey Bilger and I are committed to working closely with the Student Life staff to facilitate a smooth transition during this time of change.” The search for Brody’s successor will likely begin shortly in order to fill yet another (soon-to-be) empty administrative position.