Nearly two months ago, the Arts & Sciences Academic Advising Center celebrated the retirement of Laurel Amsel, who served as an academic advisor in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience. Amsel’s retirement came after approximately 57 years of service to the university, during which time she saw tens of thousands of students through to graduation.
Amsel had a reputation for having a big heart, sense of humor, and amazing pesto, so nobody was surprised by the large turn-out at her Zoom retirement party in late December. “It was lovely,” said Lily Board, Assistant Dean for Academic Advising & Student Success in Arts & Sciences, “We were sharing memories and everyone was in tears. Then I took a quick bio-break and came back to Laurel laughing hysterically, Scott Zeman weeping into a beer stein, Michael Lynn running around in circles in a room that had filled with smoke, and Susan Johnson doing a keg stand.”
Human Resources, in partnership with the Behavioral Intervention Team, is currently investigating how and why this retirement party took such an extreme turn. In response to a request for an interview, HR released a statement saying, “The Amsel incident is only one in a recent string of retirement ragers, which we believe are the result of COVID fatigue. BIT is currently monitoring all involved parties and has made recommendations to the College.”
Those recommendations include administrative leave, restricted access to university files, padded walls for home offices, and a smoke detector. “In addition to the recommendations that we’ve received from BIT, the College of Arts & Sciences is funding two additional FSAP positions that will work exclusively with AAC staff,” explained Dr. Daryl Maeda, Associate Dean for Student Success in Arts & Sciences. “We are fully committed to supporting our staff so that we won’t have to hire and train new advisors.”