Three New Leaders Join HWS – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Three New Leaders Join HWS

Hobart and William Smith will commence the new academic year welcoming three individuals to leadership positions at the Colleges: Chaplain of the Colleges, Title IX Coordinator, and Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer.

The Rev. D. Maurice Charles, who previously served in the Religious Life office at Stanford University, has begun his role as HWS Chaplain, following the retirement of The Rev. Lesley Adams D.D.’15 at the end of the spring semester. Susan Lee has assumed the role of Title IX Coordinator, succeeding Interim Title IX Coordinator and Associate Dean of Students Stacey Pierce who has returned to the Division of Student Affairs. Lee most recently served as director of Affirmative Action and Campus Diversity at Indiana University – South Bend. Carolee White, former Associate Vice President for Finance at Colgate University, succeeds Peter Polinak as Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer, following Polinak’s retirement. 

“We welcome these new colleagues to the Colleges with excitement and enthusiasm,” says President Mark D. Gearan. “As they begin their roles with us, I am inspired by the legacies of their predecessors and by the strong visions that Rev. Charles, Susan Lee and Carolee White bring to campus. With substantial expertise and knowledge, they will add significantly to our community.”

Charles has many years of ministry experience in Episcopal and American Baptist churches in San Francisco and the Midwest. He previously served six years as Associate Dean for Religious Life at Stanford University, where he was responsible for regular preaching at university public worship while offering spiritual, vocational and crisis-related support to students, faculty and staff. A scholar as well as a pastor, Charles has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Stanford, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Seabury Western Theological Seminary and Case Western Reserve University.

“From my first telephone interview with members of the chaplain search committee until my arrival on campus, I have been moved by the dedication and passion of members of the Hobart and William Smith community. I believe I have found a new home among some of the most committed, intelligent, hardworking people I have met in an institution of higher learning,” Charles says, who will serve on the president’s Senior Staff.  “I look forward to partnering with this community that so clearly embodies the highest values, where social, academic and community space is used to enhance discussions on many of the topics I hold dear – race, class, gender, sexuality and religion.”

Prior to joining HWS, Lee was responsible at Indiana University, South Bend for the investigation and resolution of all discrimination complaints, tasked with overall compliance, and facilitated student and employee training on harassment and respect, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, bystander intervention and other awareness activities. Previously, she served at the University of Denver as director of the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity. With more than two decades of experience in social justice issues, Lee has worked across the country on issues from sexual harassment training to fair housing and equal employment. A graduate of the Indiana University School of Law, the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Purdue University School of Nursing, Lee has completed the National Association of College and University Attorneys’ extensive Title IX Coordinator program and brings with her a strong background of investigative, legal and interpersonal skills.

“During my first two months at the Colleges, I continue to be impressed by the engagement and strong support of Title IX programs and services on this campus,” says Lee. “I look forward to working in collaboration with faculty, staff and students to continue expanding our Title IX education, and sexual misconduct and sexual violence prevention initiatives.” 

During her 20-year tenure at Colgate, White took on progressively more complex business, finance and administrative duties, including serving as Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration. At Colgate, she oversaw all endowment operations, accounting and auditing, and managed the university’s recent master planning process. White has demonstrated a commitment to community, a respect for academics and the role of education in improving society, and a keen understanding of the specific financial pressures facing students, parents and the higher education sector. A certified public accountant, White earned her B.S. in accounting from Syracuse University and worked at the professional accounting firm Coopers and Lybrand.

“I am honored to join Hobart and William Smith and am committed to advancing their long-standing financial position which provides the foundation for excellence in teaching, learning, research, and innovation that defines the Colleges’ high-achieving environment,” says White, who will serve on the president’s senior staff. “From what I have seen to date, the Colleges’ maintain good fiscal discipline and have been successful in growing their resources as evidenced, for example, by the growth in the Colleges’ endowment which has nearly quadrupled over the past 20 years. I look forward to working with the talented faculty, staff and students on campus and with the Board of Trustees to continue this momentum.”

The photo above features Carolee White, The Rev. D. Maurice Charles, and Susan Lee.