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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Students reflect on departing Admin

Published: October 26, 2007
Section: News

Assistant Vice President for Students and Enrollment Keenyn McFarlane will leave Brandeis at the end of November. McFarlane, who is the chief assistant to Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment Jean Eddy, is in charge of developing the budget for the division. A replacement has yet to be named.

In addition to his budget work, McFarlane works with students directly. He explained, I oversee the administration and use of the Student Activities FundI try to give as much rope as I canbut I have to make sure its legitimate [and] legal.

Before beginning at Brandeis in June 2006, McFarlane held government positions as the Assistant Budget Director for the Massachusetts Department of Education and as a finance officer at the U.S. Attorneys office in Boston. Of his reasons for coming to Brandeis, I wanted to not work in governmentthe appeal of Brandeis was knowing Id be able to help others, he said.

McFarlane added, I wanted to help others but not in government;

as it turns out, Im going back to government. After his departure from Brandeis, McFarlane will relocate to the Washington D.C. area to become the Budget Director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Regarding his sentiments about leaving, Ill miss the students, said McFarlane. I think you guys are some of the brightest people Ive met. He continued, I will miss watching the University evolve[Brandeis is an] organization that is growing and you can feel it.

Students with whom McFarlane has worked will miss him as well. Students for Environmental Action co-President Stephanie Sofer 09 said in an e-mail, Keenyn McFarlane has been a true adviser and friend to SEA. Keenyn is always willing to meet with us and dispense advice regarding working with the administration.

Sofer continued, one of Keenyn's best attributes is his willingness to always listen to students' ideaswhen working with Keenyn, I always feel that I am working with someone who respects my views and who allows me to help clarify and assess my thought process. It is difficult to encapsulate in words how important Keenyns efforts have been to this community.

Sofers co-President, Jamie Pottern 09 agreed. She said in an e-mail, Keenyn McFarlanehas consistently aided students in their efforts to affect positive change…making himself available through phone conversations, e-mail, and one-on-one meetings. His personal style allows students to be open and honest with him, promoting equality and collaboration. Keenyn's willingness to help improve the University is exhibited in his work with students…that has contributed to greater student and institutional awareness about conservation and sustainability. She concluded, Keenyn will be sorely missed by students, who have gained tremendously from his support, guidance, and vision.

Keenyn McFarlane has been a strong advocate for students at this University, especially in terms of…sustainability, said Student Union Assistant Treasurer Justin Kang 09. He added, personally, it's been a very easy process and pleasure to work with him because he treats you with respectI consider him a friend, at times now I just visit him…just to chat.

Union Treasurer, Choon Woo Ha 08, explained in an e-mail, I work with Keenyn extremely closely almost on an everyday basis. The Student Union Treasurer and Assistant V[ice] P[resident] for Students and Enrollment probably have the closest student-administrator working relationship [at Brandeis.] He added, the greatest thing about him is his genuine care for studentsthis is the reason why many students reach out to him.

It is going to be sad day for Brandeis when he leaves, said Ha;

we are going to miss unique talent that we have not seen in many years.

McFarlane remarked, I feel humbled that the students would think highly of me because I think the world of them.