Two candidates have interviewed to be the new leader of transportation services, a department involved in several changes that will affect the student body next fall.
Nancy Nusbaum, assistant vice president for Finance and Support Services, has served as interim director for the department since Joe Richmond, the former director, announced he would be on extended leave. Nusbaum said Richmond will not be returning, leaving the permanent position vacant. Interviews for the new director of transportation services began last week. A decision could be made quickly, but the candidate who is awarded the position will not be announced for a few weeks, Nusbaum said.
The position was posted in November and garnered many applications, Nusbaum said. Applicants were required to have experience with transit system operations, knowledge of parking systems and effective communication skills. Experience with contract administrations, higher education and parking were also preferred, Nusbaum said.
Scott Lansing and Jane Wilcox are the two candidates being considered for the position. Lansing has 35 years of experience in transit positions, beginning at the University of Virginia. He has held various director positions within First Transit, the company with which the Texas State Tram service is contracted.
Wilcox has 15 years of experience working with parking at different universities, including the University of Texas-Austin and the University of Texas-San Antonio. Wilcox is the current parking director for Stephen F. Austin University.
Nusbaum said each candidate met with vice presidents of various departments across campus during their interviews. Lansing and Wilcox both participated in an “open-discussion presentation” with representatives from student affairs, the Associated Student Government and other entities.
Lansing said he looks forward to the challenges presented during the current issues being tackled by transportation services, such as the cancelation of the Bobcat Tram Interurban services and increases in parking permit fees. The department is facing mounting debt, according to a Feb. 5 University Star article. Lansing said he sees the situation as a chance to grow.
“Challenges are opportunities,” Lansing said. “Any job like this is going to have challenges. I have created a 100-day plan to find places for success, to help get the team going. That way the university can excel and move on.”
Wilcox said she thinks the changes being faced by the department should be communicated and advertised so there is a clear understanding of what transportation services is doing.
“I think the main thing is communication, opening up dialogues with various student groups,and ,” Wilcox said. “It is very important to open up the lines of communication, share what our vision is, so they can help us meet those visions.”
Like Lansing, Wilcox said she sees the recent transportation challenges as opportunities for the university to grow.
“These opportunities are providing a chance for the university to evolve and progress, and that excites me,” Wilcox said. “That’s on the leading edge. Making it so that you can get to your class on time is the most important.”
ASG Vice President Alison Sibley said it is important that the new director be willing to keep students updated on key concerns related to parking and transportation.
“We have gotten into a very serious situation with parking and transportation, and that’s because no one was willing to have those conversations with ASG or students,” Sibley said. “I feel like we need someone who will tell us from the get go what the situation is, so there are no surprises. Someone that can be upfront but also knows how to communicate with students.”