who report to you from a lot of departments. You may have a slightly different view from Dean Wait on the staff survey just because of the diversity of your population. This will be interesting to hear from the smallest school at Vanderbilt [Blair] to the largest school at Vanderbilt [Arts and Science] the reaction to the Staff Survey.
Richard McCarty, Dean of the College of Arts and Science. Mark [Dean Wait] was the Grammy nominated pianist this year, too.
[Applause from the audience]
I just want … for any of you that come to commencement when we are standing side-by-side with Camilla Benbow [Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development Peabody College], who is also a Hopkins graduate -- our gold robes -- it is something to behold.
Mark Wait: Liberace would be envious.
Richard McCarty: He has a pink hood though. It doesn’t work.
Mark Wait: It is garish.
Richard McCarty: We were all at Hopkins at the same time. It is really quite a story.
A&S is the largest college and I think it puts a special burden on us. We have about 3600 undergraduates -- about 600 graduate students -- and about 430 faculty, give or take. We also have a lot of staff and it is a very complex group because many of our staff members are not supported on Vanderbilt funds. They are supported by research grants from federal agency or foundations. Their allegiance in many ways is to the faculty member who is the principal investigator on the grant that provides their support. I think Mark [Dean Wait] captured it well when he said “Each of us, faculty or staff have the opportunity to undo a lot of great things that are done on a daily basis by our interaction with parents and students.” I think that is especially true for staff that have the pressure with dealing with students coming in often because they have problems. When students don’t have problems, they aren’t obvious to many of us. When there is a difficulty with a course, with a faculty member who is perceived as being less than flexible, it is often a staff member who deals with that student directly as the first point of contact. I know that is true in 311 Kirkland Hall where a lot of our advising goes on with a number of associate deans. That is where we establish relationships that last for forty and fifty years. I can’t emphasize enough that our staff members build those relationships. I was in London last week visiting with a number of alumni and parents and I was really encouraged by the sense of connection to Vanderbilt even over that great distance. I think it is built by all of us.
Now a couple of things about the Staff Survey. In advance of my arrival here in July 2001, I actually took the first Staff Survey. I think it was sent to me by Ms. Brisky. [Vice Chancellor for Administration & Chief Financial Officer]. She was thinking I will throw a ringer in there. I will get somebody who will like it because he hasn’t really been here long. I saw it I think from the staff perspective. I thought it was a very valuable exercise. I am a psychologist by training; so I love surveys. When I arrived at the beginning of the Fall 2001 academic year, I had to deal with the results of the Staff Survey. Many of our Arts and Science staff members know I did a terrible job with that. I barely knew where the restrooms were -- much less how to deal with the Staff Survey that was done before I arrived as Dean. With this most recent Staff Survey with help from Melissa Wocher and Ginger Leger who are in our office, we met in smaller groups with staff. I think we got some very valuable feedback that we are in the process of collating and we will send back for feedback to our staff. Because of the size of the group, it is hard to be as