Post-restructuring, Moneta takes time to breathe

Larry Moneta's calendar still may be full and his days busy as ever, but as the vice president for student affairs settles into his position and completes his own infrastructure, his role is gradually changing.

"I've got nothing to do these days," Moneta joked.

While he has no plans to fade quietly into the background, his role has changed from front-line official to supportive consultant for a host of Student Affairs officers, transforming the Division of Student Affairs into a more structured - if larger - fleet.

Over the past year, Moneta has made key hires that have allowed him to step back and focus on bigger initiatives, such as planning for the West Campus student village and the proposed rebuilding of Central Campus. As he closes in on hiring a fundraising officer for student affairs this month, Moneta himself will have to pay more attention to raising funds - likely more than $50 million - to financially support the student village, career center renovations and other projects.

In the meantime, Moneta said he has been able to let both his new lieutenants and old hands take center stage, while he offers more behind-the-scenes support and ideas.

For example, Moneta last year was the go-to guy for many of the changes to residential life. It was Moneta who presented changes to the Board of Trustees; it was he who supervised the shuffle of selective living groups around West Campus. Now, any such changes would most certainly be assigned to Moneta's new director of residential life and housing services, Eddie Hull.

While Moneta last year stepped in to highlight enforcement of hazing regulations for fraternities, now the newly created Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life - headed by Assistant Dean of Students Todd Adams - would handle the task.

Last year, Moneta reorganized the division with two assistant vice presidents: Sue Wasiolek, also dean of students, oversees greek life, orientation and judicial affairs, while Zoila Airall has oversight of several cultural centers and student advising.

"Looking at it from my perspective, what's changed the most for me is not getting as involved with residential life issues, the day-to-day kind of residential life issues," Wasiolek said.

Moneta said a lot of his time is also spent running Student Affairs - a $30 million, 300-employee business.

"It's not sexy, but I believe that affects how well I'm doing my job, as any flashy program or project," Moneta said.

Wasiolek, who has been at Duke since she was an undergraduate in the early 1970s, said the newly implemented structure works.

"The model is a very effective one," she said. "I think it defines our roles specifically enough without creating confining boxes and I think we're doing a pretty good job of communicating with each other and letting each other know what we're doing. Even though we may have very specific roles, there always will be and should be some overlap."

Airall said the restructuring has allowed for a team mentality.

"I don't experience [Moneta] as someone who's stepping back as much as someone who's working with me... and Dean Sue and [Student Affairs Director of Resource Administration] Caroline Nisbet - I really see the four of us as being a real team," she said.


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