Following a string of resignations over the past few months, the AMS executive is taking the opportunity to review the roles and responsibilities of its salaried positions.
Since August, three salary staff members of the AMS have resigned. Catherine Wright, former vice-president (university affairs), resigned during the summer, while Academic Affairs Commissioner Read Leask and Commissioner of Internal Affairs Miriam Bart resigned in the last month.
Benjamin Bourne, the AMS clubs manager, also left the AMS earlier this year.
The resignations brought on a number of new hires. Sarah Letersky, the former AMS human resources officer, was appointed during the summer as vice-president (university affairs), which opened her former position for rehiring. Mackenzie Jackson, ArtSci ‘17, then replaced Letersky as the HR officer.
The final open position — Retail Services Director — will not be filled for the remainder of the year, according to the AMS executive.
Lively’s prior role is now split between Vice-President (Operations) Kyle Beaudry and Retail Operations Officer John McDiarmid, a permanent AMS staff member.
The decision to do so was not taken lightly, Beaudry said. He said they consulted with both managers under the Retail Service Director’s portfolio — the Publishing & Copy Centre (P&CC) Head Manager and the Tricolour Outlet Head Manager — before moving forward with the decision.
“Upon reflection, it was pretty evident to the three of us that the nature of that job has changed in the last few years,” Beaudry said, pointing to the amalgamation of the Yearbook and Design Services with Queen’s TV.
Yearbook and Design Services had been in retail portfolio, but the service that resulted from the merger — Studio Q — is now in the portfolio of Media Services Director.
Beaudry said it’s too early to say how they plan on restructuring the AMS director positions, but says they’re taking this opportunity to discuss the possibilities.
“I’ll be clear. We’re not getting rid of [the Retail Services Director] position … just because we’re not filling it doesn’t mean when it’s hired for next year that it could be the exact same. We just want to undertake the review process,” Beaudry said.
If they were to remove the position, the executive would have to get approval from the AMS Board of Directors, which oversees all personnel issues. Beaudry did say that preliminary discussions have begun with the Board on changes that could be made to the position in the future.
The review of the three corporate service director positions — Hospitality and Safety Services, Media Services and Retail Services — are all part of a “broader theme,” Beaudry said. He added that every other salaried positions, including AMS council positions, will also be reviewed.
“We’re looking at all positions this year at a broad glance of where they have come from and where they’re going, and I think looking at all positions with regards to what their purpose is and what they do best is something we’re interested in keeping as a conversation throughout the year,” Letersky said.
With regards to the occasionally vacant positions, Letersky says she’s taken over the roles during the hiring process and has worked with individuals within the commissions to ensure that the executive’s goals for the year continue as planned.
She said Lively and Wiseman, who were both appointed in past two weeks, have already begun transitioning into their new positions.
The number of resignations this year, especially for salary positions, has been unusual. Last year, there were no resignations from salaried positions.
High-profile resignations have occurred in the past, however. The incoming Vice-President (Operations) Peter Green resigned prior to assuming the role in 2013, and five AMS staffers resigned from their roles in 2005.
Letersky said the resignations this year are unrelated to each other, although she added that the executive recognize that there have been more resignations this year than in previous years.
“With that, we are working extremely hard to make sure the morale within the office is a positive environment moving forward.”
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