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Internat'l House head to retire after 21 years

The director of the International House will retire this month after 21 years of service.

Carlisle Harvard said she has enjoyed her tenure as director, but she feels the time is right to retire. She added that she wants to allow a new director to gain experience before the house is relocated from Campus Drive for the construction of the new Central Campus.

"The International House is one of three offices scheduled to be [constructed] in the first phase of the new Central Campus," Harvard said. "The person leading when the move occurs will need to have background."

She added that the new director would oversee nearly all of the moving process.

"It will take a lot of important planning that has barely begun," she added.

The new director will find the position rewarding, she said. "They will be coming into a wonderful job that will enrich their lives," she said.

Corina Apostol, a junior from Romania who is serving as an International House orientation peer this year, said she was pleased to have developed a close personal relationship with Harvard. Harvard was a "mother-like figure" to her, she said.

"I have gone to talk to her whenever I have had problems here," she said. "She is positive about everything she does, whether it involves reading with me one on one, or organizing orientation programs."

Other international students said that they were never personally close with Harvard. However, they praised the impact of the International House under her leadership. "I think that as an organization they do a lot on campus with the integration of students," said Gabriela Borges, a sophomore IHOP from Australia.

Students said the new director should bring an awareness of cultural diversity to the program. They added that the new director should promote the integration of international students into the Duke community.

"[He or she] has to maintain a strong bond between Duke's international community and the student body, while at the same time making sure that our special interests are met and understood," said Vatsala Kabra, a sophomore from Dubai.

Zoila Airall, assistant vice president for student affairs, is the hiring manager for the position. She wrote in an e-mail that more than 80 candidates applied, and three finalists came to campus for all-day interviews. None of the candidates was hired.

"The general feeling was that the three candidates were skilled but not necessarily the best fit for the position, with the staff and/or the campus community," Airall said.

The search process has been closed and will resume in January. Airall said Assistant Director Lisa Giragosian will serve as the interim director until a hire is made.


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