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More than 50 apply for alcohol administrator job

BY ALISON SULLIVAN | MARCH 30, 2011 7:20 AM

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The University of Iowa will have a new face for its campaign to reduce binge drinking by this summer.

Officials are reviewing 52 applications for a new administrative position tasked with overseeing the university’s efforts to reduce underage and high-risk drinking on campus and in the community.

Applications are no longer being accepted, said UI Vice President for Student Services Tom Rocklin. Officials will conduct interviews this semester and hope to hire someone by June or July. 

Advertising for the position opened in March, and the position was available to applicants nationwide, said Susan Assouline, a UI professor of education and a member of the search committee.

The position, called the Coordinator of Campus-Community Harm Reduction Initiatives, will oversee collaborative efforts between the UI and Iowa City community to reduce high-risk drinking.

The UI coordinator position is currently set with a salary of $37,624 per year, said Sarah Hansen, the UI director of assessment and strategic initiatives.

Assouline said they’re looking for a candidate who can collaborate with the city.

“Somebody who has excellent communication skills and vision about how the campus and community can work together for the success of the students,” she said.

The administrative position is a part of the UI’s Alcohol Harm Reduction Plan, which officials first unveiled in December. The plan outlines four major goals such as attracting fewer high-risk drinkers to the university, educating students on effects of high-risk drinking, helping them lower drinking, and holding students accountable for high-risk, harmful behavior.

Ultimately, officials hope to reduce the binge drinking rate by 15 percent within three years.

A recent nonalcoholic dance party and programs such as the Red Watch Band program — which teaches students how to handle alcohol emergencies — are examples of the already active plan, officials said.

“I think when you’re planning, you want to have a period of time in which you can measure progress,” UI President Sally Mason told The Daily Iowan earlier this year regarding the plan. “So three years is a good discrete time in which we can measure progress, and then we reassess, and we can see what adjustments we have to make, what the next plan will look like going forward, depending upon the progress we made or not.”

One city official said earlier this year that community members are ready to work with the UI.

“I think the university and the town have a very positive relationship, and communication will continue to go on about these things because it costs both of us,” Iowa City City Councilor Connie Champion told the DI when the plan was first unveiled.

The position would also likely be part of the Partnership of Alcohol Safety, the UI-community coalition to reduce dangerous drinking, Assouline said.

Since the plan was unveiled, Assouline said, the committee’s main focus has been searching for and selecting a candidate for the position.

“We need a person who has strong communication skills and the ability to work with a lot of different kinds of stake holders in this issue,” Rocklin said. “And someone with good ideas.”

The new coordinator will work in the Office of Student Services and report to Rocklin, Assouline said. On a daily basis, he or she will work with Hansen.

“I think there’s a real positive energy associated with these things,” Assouline said. “I’m very enthusiastic with how the faculty is responding: very enthusiastic and very supportive.”


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