All things must eventually end, including administration positions at SUNY New Paltz.
Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Wayne Brumfield’s time in New Paltz is coming to a close this summer. Brumfield was brought on to serve as VP of student affairs on July 8, 2016 through the Registry for College and University Presidents, a national organization designed to seat interim administrators at colleges and universities. He found himself in the position following the retirement of longtime VP, L. David Rooney on June 30, 2016. Given that Rooney played a role in the construction of the Atrium during his 14-year career, Brumfield had sizable shoes to fill.
If he wanted an opportunity to test himself, he got it in the form of dealing with a mumps outbreak on campus not long after coming out of a two-year retirement.
“Coming out of retirement and coming back to work, I never thought about if there was something I would want to accomplish,” he said. “There are things you never anticipate, and that was one of those things that happened where we put our best foot forward and worked not only with the campus community but the community at large.”
Brumfield had an array of responsibilities during his time in New Paltz, including working or overseeing Student Activities, UPD, the Health and Counseling Center and Residence Life, among other things. In order to keep a handle on so many different groups, he said he always kept in mind that the primary focus was how students benefit.
Looking forward, Brumfield hopes that his replacement will utilize the pool of experience that the Student Affairs staff has in order to keep that focus. Similarly, he hopes to see the entire administration continue to allow the campus community to express themselves freely while having a more coordinated effort in terms of creating policies on campus. In particular, he looks forward to projects regarding Living Learning Communities to be completed in the future.
In the meantime, he will stay ready for whatever campus might need him next. Prior to SUNY New Paltz, Brumfield worked as the vice president for student affairs at the University of Louisiana at Monroe from 2002 until his retirement in the fall of 2014. During that time, he handled many of the same responsibilities he had at New Paltz.
A highly contagious viral infection turned out to not be the only thing Brumfield had to adjust to. Coming from Louisiana, he also had to get used to the climate and experiencing winter.
“My main thing that I wanted to happen, I wanted two feet of snow,” he said. “And I got my two feet of snow.”
Reflecting on his time here, Brumfield had only positive things to say.
“I’m going to really miss this campus community,” he said. “My experience here has been one of the most rewarding in my career. I’ve spent 25 years in higher education, I’ve worked in multiple institutions in my career and New Paltz has just been fantastic. I’ve enjoyed my time, really. Wouldn’t trade it for anything.”