Ten months after assuming her role as director of the Office of Student Mediation and Community Standards, Veronica Mendoza '96 will be leaving MIT at the end of May to resume practicing law in California. She is the third person to leave this post in the past four years. The position was redefined last year to exclude the function of risk management.
Mendoza's predecessors, William M. Fischer and Steven J. Tyrell, both stepped down as associate dean for student conduct and risk management after nine and eighteen months, respectively. They both resigned to pursue other career opportunities, while Mendoza is leaving for personal reasons. "I miss my real home, and, most importantly, my family, and I've decided that I need to be near them" in California, she wrote in an e-mail on Tuesday, April 10.
Mendoza brought a unique perspective to the role, receiving a bachelor's degree in Spanish from the Institute and working in the Admissions Office before pursuing a degree in law. Mendoza's primary responsibilities have been to oversee student conflict management and discipline functions, including providing support for student judicial panels and the Institute's own judicial process. She worked extensively with students on the Dormitory and Interfraternity Councils, faculty on the Committee of Discipline, and administrators in the Office of Student Life.
"IFC [InterFraternity Council] really enjoyed working with her. She always had an open door and was very helpful with any issues we had," said E. Darryl Walton '09, the judicial chair of the IFC.
"Mendoza has been a wonderful part of MIT for the year she's been here," said Dean for Student Life Larry G. Benedict.
Few decisions have been made regarding the replacement process, though Benedict received Mendoza's resignation about one month ago. A new search committee of students, faculty, and administrators will be formed to select a replacement. Stephen D. Immerman, the senior associate dean for student life, is expected to chair the committee, according to Benedict. Immerman also chaired the committee that selected Mendoza.
When the position was left vacant last year, current administrators filled in the role, including Barbara A. Baker, senior associate dean for students, Daniel Trujillo, associate dean for community development and substance abuse, and Margery Resnick, chair of the committee on discipline.