By TCR Staff

In an email message about engagement opportunities sent to Franklin & Marshall College students on Friday, Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs Margaret Hazlett surprised many by announcing her intentions to take a leave of absence for the fall semester. “I have enjoyed every moment of being a part of this community since I arrived in April 2013, and look forward to my return, but now is the time for me to concentrate on the needs of my family,” Hazlett said in her email.

Hazlett’s temporary departure creates an unexpected shake-up within the Office of Student Affairs, which has taken the lead on much of the College’s plans to return to campus this fall.

In a video call on Monday, President Barbara Altmann shared with The College Reporter that F&M had hired Deb Moriarty, former Vice President for Student Affairs at Towson University, to fill-in for Dean Hazlett during the Fall semester.

“I have a lot of confidence in her—she has seen just about everything in her decades of experience in Student Affairs” President Altmann said on Monday. “She has all of the seasoned experience needed to pick up the pieces and put them back together this fall.”

Moriarty spent 15 years at Towson University, a large public university in Maryland with over 22,000 students, and oversaw the school’s student activities, Greek Life, diversity programs, housing and residential life, off-campus student services, and disability support services, among other programs and services as the Vice President for Student Affairs.

During her tenure at Towson, Moriarty helped oversee and implement a large campus growth with an almost 30% increase in enrollment, created a Center for Student Diversity, and led the development of policies related to sexual misconduct and Title IX and the creation of a Smoke Free Campus.

Prior to joining Towson, Moriarty served as the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Moriarty has also held positions at the University of Michigan, Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the University of California San Diego, and the University of California Los Angeles.

Moriarty received a B.S. from Southern Connecticut State College (now University), an M.S. from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Daniel Robillard, Ruby Van Dyk, and Ellyn Fritz contributed to reporting.