Feature

AUP's New Team

Introduction by President Celeste Schenck / Created 2011-04-01

This past fall, two members of AUP’s entirely new leadership team arrived on campus, Valerie Gille as Vice President for Finance and Administration and Brad Walp as Director of Enrollment Management.  Valerie Gille comes to AUP with ten years’ experience as an auditor with Price Waterhouse and a further ten as Chief Financial Officer of two French companies.  Brad Walp joins us from Cornell University, where he headed the admissions team for the famous international hotel school.  A product himself of international education, Brad is heading up AUP's new enrollment initiative at the heart of the strategic plan.  AUP's new Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Neil Gordon, formerly the Dean of Eugene Lang College of The New School, distinguished novelist, literary critic, and editor will begin this summer and has already been traveling to Paris all spring to consult with the faculty and the president.  AUP is currently holding a search for a Director of University Outreach and Advancement to lead AUP’s growing development, alumni, communications, public relations, and career and internships offices.  Dr. Marc Montheard continues in his role of Vice President for Student Services. The new team has already begun a substantial review and re-founding of AUP's management functions.


Neil Gordon

Dean of the University and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Neil's Role at AUP

I will be working with the President, the faculty, and the senior staff to build academic rigor and reputation, to open the curriculum to exciting cross-disciplinary majors, to recruit the highest quality of students from around the world, and to build new and exciting partnerships with universities in America, Europe, and elsewhere.  Of course, I will also hope to bring to the President my experience in fundraising and grant writing.


About Neil 

I am currently Professor of Literary Studies at the Eugene Lang College and The New School for Social Research, on sabbatical, and have also served as Dean of the College and Chair of Writing and Literary Studies.  A graduate of the University of Michigan, the Sorbonne, and Yale, I hold a Ph.D. from Yale in French literature and have published three novels: Sacrifice of Isaac, The Gunrunner’s Daughter, and The Company You Keep, a 2003 New York Times Notable Book of the Year.  I am the Literary Editor at The Boston Review and have served as an editor at The New York Review of Books, Granta, and The Reader’s Catalog prior to returning to academics. My writing has appeared in magazines ranging from Tricycle and Salon to Tin House, and my reviews have appeared regularly in The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, and other national venues.


What is it about AUP that made you want to work here?

The opportunity to be a part of AUP’s growth toward its full potential as a leader in international Liberal Arts and Applied-Liberal Arts education in an international context.  With the current emphasis, around the world, in adapting higher education to the new global realities before us, the university’s amazing faculty and its years of experience position it admirably for the most exciting incarnation of its long history. 


What do you envision for your department and for AUP’s future?

I envision taking our role as the European leader in student-centered undergraduate and graduate programs that combine strong foundational education with innovative majors and  Masters in a range globally relevant fields, from the purely intellectual -- like Classics or Literature -- to the applied, such as Business, Politics, and Communications.


Valerie Gille

Vice President for Finance and Administration 

Valerie's Role at AUP

As AUP comes of age, this is the perfect moment to review and update the University’s financial functions and processes.  I will be working with the President to build a strong, strategic business plan for AUP, to renovate and extend AUP’s campus, and to create an efficient, cost-effective buildings and administration function.  Everything from the physical plant to human resources to finance and general university administration falls under my unit.  Although the pace hasn’t let up since I joined the University full time in January, I’m enjoying working in this new setting and seeing change happen on a daily basis.  I’m also working hard on my English—I want to be speaking it fluently a year from now! 


About Valerie

I come from the world of consulting, auditing, and for-profit corporations, having spent nearly a decade with Price Waterhouse in Paris, then the second part of my career as the financial director (secretaire general) of two French companies, Unilog and Equalliance, a real estate concern.  I’ve also been a consultant, which has helped me come into AUP, do an audit of our functioning, and make a plan for moving forward.  All of my experience, including the discipline of running the finances of a publicly listed company is turning out to be pertinent to my work at AUP.  I hold a Diplôme d’expertise comptable and studied economics at the University of Nancy.


What is it about AUP that made you want to work here?

After the cutthroat world of business, I was ready for a change.  And I was attracted to the idea of working in a global environment where I would be working in a team of people from many different nationalities.  Although the world of non-profit management is a new one for me, I am already getting a feel for the culture of this new environment.  What a pleasure it is to work with students and faculty in a university setting.  You really get the feeling that the work you are doing is important—that you’re ensuring the health of the university, creating a great environment for students to work in, improving the future prospects of the University.   


What do you envision for your department and for AUP’s future?

I see the Finance, Administration and HR teams at AUP coming together into a highly functioning support team for the University, putting our core business, teaching and learning, first, but assuring that financial processes are healthy and transparent.  I think strategically, so I particularly enjoy working with the leadership team and the president to design AUP’s future as one of the strongest American enterprises in France.  I think there is a lot more we could do to bring French students to AUP, build partnerships with French businesses, and gain more respect from the French authorities.  I think one of the reasons I was hired is that I can open those doors for AUP.


Brad Walp

Director of Enrollment Management 

Brad's Role at AUP

I look to make AUP more of a recruiting university. Broadly speaking, our task is to communicate AUP's greatest attributes to the right audience in order to recruit the very type of students who will thrive in this unique, international environment.  We will also work to become a more welcoming university – not only by creating positive first impressions and service encounters, but also toward eliminating unnecessary barriers.  We are simplifying our admission process by joining the Common Application and replacing deadlines with rolling admissions, for example.  With this emphasis, we also want to see our enrollments grow modestly over the coming five-six years. 


About Brad

I arrived last fall from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where I worked 11 years at the School of Hotel Administration, most recently as director of enrollment.  In a past life I was an hotelier and also worked in corporate finance and human resources for a European hotel company based in Denmark, Norway and Belgium.  Growing up in Oregon, my first experience abroad was in my junior year in high school as an exchange student in Denmark.  This led to international studies at The Jackson School, University of Washington, with a minor in Scandinavian studies, and ultimately to my career in hotels.  My hotel career took me back to Cornell for a master’s degree in management, and several years later I returned to Cornell professionally.


What is it about AUP that made you want to work here?

AUP is a place that I can feel passionate about, which was an important factor in accepting this job.  From first-hand experience I understand the impact of a liberal arts education and the value of a global perspective.  I believe in what we do here.  I also feel that I have much to contribute to AUP from my own professional and personal experience, thus making my task more meaningful.  Passion, meaning and a sense of contribution are key to a fulfilling career.


What do you envision for your department and for AUP’s future?

I see the admissions office doing more outreach to engage prospects, applicants and admitted students in ways that encourage them to want to attend AUP.  I also see us building more uniform business practices for processing applications and for communicating with our various constituents.  We have many challenges ahead of us, and I hope to establish some underlying stability in the team upon which to launch our momentum as we move forward.

AUP has a milestone anniversary approaching next year which will be a wonderful thing to celebrate.  I look forward to being part of the team leading our University onward toward its centennial!