On Thursday, August 26, Intercultural Affairs Associate Daria “Dotty” Slick was put on administrative leave. The decision came as a shock to many, including Slick.
“I’m still in disbelief,” Slick said the following Wednesday afternoon.
Administrative leave is officially defined as time away from work for purposes deemed appropriate by the institution. The reasons for this decision have not been made public. Kristin Lovig of Human Resources declined to comment on the situation.
Slick confirmed she is on administrative leave. She does not agree with the decision and is doing what she can to change it.
“On Monday I submitted with an HR person that I was appealing it,” Slick said. She expects to learn the result in the next ten days. She did not comment further about the situation to avoid influencing the appellate process.
Slick’s professional duties vary widely. She works with multicultural student organizations, the Stonewall Resource Center and the Black Cultural Center. She also coordinates the Intercultural Leadership Council, works as a part of the academic advising team and acts as a Los Angeles posse mentor.
Slick said she has never had trouble completing her work.
“I’ve always had satisfactory performance reviews,” Slick said. “I put in a lot of extra hours. I love my work and I love what I do,.” Slick said. “It was very surprising to me.”
Many students feel similarly about Slick’s professional capabilities. “In all the times I have interacted with her in her professional capacity as an ASU [African Students Union] or ISO [International Student Organization] executive, she was always on top of things” Cyril Afeku ’13 said.
Ragnar Thorisson ’11 agrees. “She has been fantastic in her position working with students in intercultural groups. I think she really goes above and beyond.”
Slick valued her personal relationships with students. “I believe in the ideals of Grinnell. I like the direct contact with students. I’m not just an administrator who is sitting off in an office somewhere,” she said.
Afeku appreciated Slick’s philosophy of open and active communication.
“I guess what endeared her to most people she worked with was the fact that she took a personal interest in how they were doing, Afeku said. “She offered advice and suggestions whenever asked.”
Charisma Monteford ’11 is apprehensive about the effects of Slick’s departure.
“I know that we have many great multicultural leaders on campus who will continue to create events and efforts on campus, I am just weary about the way the leaders will be taught and who will teach them,” she said.
Even if the committee does not uphold her appeal, Slick wants to maintain relationships with students. “I’m comfortable coming onto campus. If this is the best place for students to meet with me . . . to just visit and have coffee, I’m totally okay with that,” Slick said.
Thorisson feels strongly about his relationship with Slick. “Dotty has been just a constant source of support, love, and leadership in my own personal development,” he said.
While Slick is grateful to those offering her support, she does not want students to get too wrapped up in the situation. “I really want people to think positively and, you know, maintain the balance…especially for seniors… I just don’t want them to feel overwhelmed about [this] or that they have to take it on personally,” she said.
Slick said she will comply with all College procedures. “I will follow the process and tap and access all of the resources that are available to me.”
She is waiting to hear back from the Appeals Committee and trying to maintain a positive attitude. “I’m hopeful,” she said. “I’m hopeful.”