The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Student questions administration about arbitrary firings

The B&S summarized the administration in one headline, “Some Idiot Accidentally Fires Kim Hinds-Brush.” Later in the article, they made the point that the class of 2011 will have more experience at Grinnell than any of the RLCs on campus. A week later, I heard that the administration fired Associate Dean of Admissions Marlene Jacks.

I remember being a senior in high school and five minutes after being accepted into my dream school, Marlene Jacks called me and told me to visit Grinnell. The energy and care that Marlene took in order to get me to come here demonstrated the energy that the school puts into its students. Marlene stayed in touch with me throughout my four years at Grinnell and still asks about my mother. This is the kind of attention that Marlene paid to her students.

I am shocked and disgusted with the administration in finding her no longer an asset to the institution. Marlene Jacks is more than an asset, she is a staple. Nowhere in her job description did it say that she must remain in contact with her students, but she does. I’d challenge any student, when is the last time you’ve talked to your ‘college recruiter’?

Her firing forces me to question the administration’s intentions. What did Marlene lack that other recruiters had? Are there too many minorities at this school? Are we simply replacing one African-American staff member for another? Is minority presence too much and too fast? Marlene Jacks has 11 years of experience at Grinnell—Kim Hinds-Brush had five.Both important Grinnell members have been asked to leave. Is the administration afraid of experience? I’m disappointed in the school’s decisions, and as Charisma said, “There are some big shoes to fill.” I don’t think that they can be filled adequately and that’s what most disgusts me about this situation.

-Jerome Simmons ’10

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