Senior Associate VP for Student Affairs Tom Ellett will be retiring after nearly 2 decades at NYU to join Quinnipiac University as their Chief Student Experience Officer.
Ellett also served as part of Residential Life and Housing Services Leadership, talking to over 2,000 RA’s individually during his time at NYU. He also hosted a podcast called “Where R.A. Now?” dedicated to talking with former NYU RAs about their experience and where they are now.
UTA Deputy Editor and CAS senior Alejandra Arevalo, a former RA, worked at Ellett’s podcast as an Audio Engineer.
“Being an RA is generally hard but I was pretty lucky to have had a good experience,” Arevalo said. “A lot of that has to do with Tom and my experience with the podcast.”
Ellett wrote an email to current and graduating RAs to say goodbye.
“The years go quickly, but the memories last forever and thinking about the work we did together to support our students will make me smile,” the email stated. “Know that I will always remain a Bobcat (that is what Quinnipiac U’s mascot is!). The song that I play in my mind as I write this is from Wicked, that an RA alum (Brittney Johnson) sings on Broadway: ‘So much of me is made of what I learned from (all of) you. You’ll be with me like a handprint on my heart (and forever in my mind)’.”
Ellett will be receiving retirement benefits from NYU as he moves to his next position at Quinnipiac.
Ellet’s career at NYU is not without controversy. More specifically, the RA role has fallen into question for the past year after NYU alumna Aly Reich wrote a 40 page manifesto titled “An Analysis of the Treatment of Resident Assistants in New York University’s Office of Residential Life and Housing Services.”
The manifesto outlined various issues around mental health, compensation, unionization and general mistreatment in the role. Ellett spoke to WSN about the complaints of former RAs and commented on the manifesto.
“There are going to be times where you are not going to be able to make everyone happy,” Ellett told WSN. “I’m sorry that they felt that way but there were ways to make their voice heard and my door was always open.”
Email Mina Mohammadi at [email protected]