Several administrative offices and departments at Pomona College could move to new locations on campus starting next semester, after the school’s Business Office and Office of Human Resources complete the move from their current home in Alexander Hall to the Pendleton Building, on Eighth Street. The Pendleton Building was vacated by the Claremont University Consortium (CUC) over the summer when it relocated its administrative offices to First Street.
According to Vice President and Treasurer Karen Sisson, the two Pomona offices scheduled to move to Pendleton have outgrown their existing space in Alexander.
“The Business Office is really cramped right now,” Sisson said. “Payroll is sort of squeezed in, and one of my staff members is actually not even in the Business Office; he’s over with advancement. Pendleton is a larger space.”
The move, which Sisson said she expects to be completed by February or March and no later than this summer, will open up room in Alexander for other offices or departments on campus that may be suffering from limited space, including the Career Development Office (CDO), Draper Center for Community Partnerships, or Asian American Resource Center (AARC), all of which currently have their offices in the Smith Campus Center (SCC).
Among the organizations with offices in the SCC, the CDO in particular has experienced growing pains, according to Mary Raymond, the new Director of the CDO. CDO staff are currently split between two floors, with the main office on the first floor and additional offices in the basement level near the SCC Social Room. With increased attention lately from the Pomona College Board of Trustees on career development for students, the CDO is exploring ways to bring its staff together to better prepare students for life after graduation.
“What the trustees recommended is that first-years get a lot more attention than they do right now, that a lot of energy [be] put into career assessment and professional presentation and just helping students navigate all the options that they have,” Raymond said. “[But] we need different space. I like the location where we are, but it’s not enough for what we need to do.”
Representatives from other offices on campus said they were also thinking of relocating, if space opens up.
According to Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Seth Allen, a closer proximity between the Office of Admissions, which is in Sumner Hall, and the Office of Financial Aid, which is in Alexander, could allow for easier collaboration between the two.
“I know, day-to-day, I have my office here in Sumner,” Allen said. “While Alexander isn’t too far away, it would be beneficial for me [if I were] able to have conversations with the financial aid staff if their office was closer to mine.”
“The benefit of someone overseeing both offices is that I can understand what’s beginning to evolve on the admissions side,” he added.
While Allen expressed optimism towards this proposal, in order for the Office of Financial Aid to relocate to Sumner, another office would have to move out. The only offices currently located in Sumner with enough space to fit the Office of Financial Aid are the Office of Campus Life (OCL) and the Office of Study Abroad (OSA).
“It’s a little bit like musical chairs,” Allen said. “You have to wait for an opening.”