After an extensive search and hiring process, Michael Hampton will take over as Director of Career Development and Services starting in late July.
Career Services Coordinator Kristi Mackay said the search committee narrowed down the large pool of applicants in early April and conducted interviews via Skype. The field was then further narrowed down to Hampton and Chelsea Haring who gave presentations on campus, which were open to students, faculty and staff, April 27 and May 3.
“As a search committee, I think we decided that both of the final candidates could have been successful in this position,” Mackay said. “[Hampton] was just a much better fit and he was able to really articulate his vision.”
Director of Career Development and Services Ann Hardin Ballard, who has been at Linfield for almost 28 years, said Hampton will have much to build on in the position. Hardin Ballard was the first person to hold a position in career services at Linfield and has built and developed the office during her time here.
“For the first 15 years I was here, I was career services at Linfield College because I didn’t have an assistant. Then the alum Mike McBride [class of ‘72] funded a position to help us develop more internships. We were [then] able to offer more in the way of internship help and internship opportunities and develop employer connections,” she said. “[Hampton] will be coming in with this already established, but there’s certainly room for him to create his own programs and develop the services further. He’ll come in with a fresh perspective and some new energy so I’m excited to see how the program grows under his leadership.”
Vice president of student affairs and dean of students Susan Hopp headed the search committee and also talked about the opportunity for Hampton to continue the progress of career services.
“What we were looking for was someone to build on a really strong tradition — we’ve had a very good career services office here.”
Mackay said the search committee ultimately chose Hampton over Haring because of his experience and ideas to develop the position.
“She didn’t have quite as much experience as [Hampton],” Mackay said. “He’s done some really cool things, especially at Western Oregon University where he is right now. I think there’s going to be some significant changes and a lot of them are going to be very visible to students. If even half the things he discussed with us come to fruition, it’s going to be really exciting.”
Hampton also worked at Linfield from 1998 to 2000 as an assistant in career services. He continued to work in career services positions at George Fox University and Western Oregon University where he has been for the past six years. Hampton lived in McMinnville during this time, commuting to George Fox and WOU.
“I’m absolutely delighted that he’s going to be returning to Linfield,” Hardin Ballard said.
Mackay said that Hampton’s previous experience at Linfield was not a factor in the decision to hire him.
“I don’t think we hired [Hampton] because of his experience here before,” she said. “We hired him because … he has 12 years of experience in higher education with progressing responsibility. [Hampton] has a really good vision for what a career center can offer to students — he’s very collaborative and he’s just a really good fit for the institution.”
Hardin Ballard said she is retiring because she has many other things going on in her life.
“There’s lots of other things to do in this world, and I would just like to have a little time while I’m still young enough and healthy enough to do them,” she said.
Ballard said she will miss teaching her January Term course and the campus.
“I love being on the Linfield College campus — it’s a gorgeous campus and it’s a vibrant place to be.”
Working with her colleagues was also an aspect of her job she said she would miss.
“I love my colleagues and I will miss the daily interaction with them,” she said. “You spend so much time here almost more than at home — they become sort of like another family.”
“There’s a lot I’ll miss about it, but no matter what choices you do in life, there’s always something you’re going to miss.”
Hampton will officially take over July 25.
Braden Smith/Managing editor
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