By Sara Sanchez-Contreras, Justin Blunt, Damani Eason, Khi’Asiah Holland, and Tori Albanese; The Whetstone
Erin Grier has been with Wesley College since 2017 as a piano accompanist and adjunct faculty member and said she sees how the Delaware State University acquisition has taken a toll on both faculty and staff.
“I don’t know the history of Wesley College’s financial difficulties that led to the acquisition,” she said. “I think that better management of the college by the president and board of trustees might have prevented this situation.”
Grier is one of the many staff members and adjunct faculty who have felt anxiety and uncertainty concerning the DSU acquisition of Wesley College, which will be completed June 30.
The lack of information given to the campus has made things worse, Grier said.
“At the very least, I think the college has not been transparent with faculty and staff about how jobs will be impacted,” she said.
Grier said she was unsure about her own future.
“I am looking at other career opportunities since there is no guarantee I will be hired by Delaware State University,” she said.
Allen Bowers has been a public safety officer at Wesley for more than a year and did not know Wesley struggling financially.
“The news of the acquisition came as a complete and utter shock to me,” he said. “I’m taking the news of the acquisition on a day-by-day basis.”
Nurse Jiggy Patel said she feels nervous about losing her job. She is not sure what she will do.
“I have not applied for another job yet, but I am giving myself until April to see if I will be transitioning to DSU,” she said.
Danielle Archambault, associate director of student success and retention, said she will stay positive, although the transition is scary.
“I know this may seem more challenging as the acquisition date gets closer and the latest news regarding athletics,” she said. “However, I’m hopeful that the benefits of being acquired outweigh the drawbacks.”
She said she is more focused on the students being prepared for the fall, rather than herself.
“I will stay the course of ensuring Wesley College students are efficiently and effectively transitioned to DSU or another institution of their choice,” she said.
Jenna Gruwell, coordinator of first year and international experiences, said the acquisition has made her job a lot more difficult.
“I’m now working harder to get the proper documents to Delaware State University to make their jobs easier,” she said.
She said she has had some communication with DSU staff.
“I’ve reached out to the person closest to my job at Delaware State University,” she said. “We have a meeting next week to discuss things.”
Custodial staff Renee Wright said she has only been with Wesley for one year.
“As of right now, I was not offered a job at or with DSU,” she said. “If I don’t get a job, I would have to move back to Wilmington and look and try to get back with Amazon.”
Wesley College alum Christine McDermott, now assistant vice president of academic affairs, came to work at Wesley in 1999 to start her career in higher education. She said she has not had enough time to fully process what is happening.
“I think right now part of me hasn’t fully processed the Delaware State University acquisition because my main responsibility is the acquisition,” she said. “I am making sure that everything is done correctly and ethically.”
At least one new staff member, Admission counselor Kristyn Casselle, said she believed the acquisition may be a good thing for the college.
“I started six months ago working here as an admissions counselor,” she said. “I believe it’s a remarkable thing, the college will have more diversity.”
Still, Casselle said she may lose her job.
“I have to look for another job,” she said. “I just moved here, but I have to stay positive. I will take a job offer from Delaware State University.”