Brianna Wilson
Editor-in-Chief

On Aug. 23, recently-appointed Vice President for Innovations and New Ventures Timothy Anderson announced via email that President Linda Oubré’s son, Nate Oubré, would be joining him as the Director of Innovation and New Ventures. The email was sent to staff and both full-time and non-full-time faculty. The student body has yet to be formally informed of Nate Oubre’s hire.

In his new role, Nate Oubré “will be focused on helping identify, develop and launch our new revenue generation and innovation programs,” according to Timothy Anderson’s email. The email also detailed Nate Oubré’s past experience, all listed on his LinkedIn profile, which, according to Anderson’s email, includes “a wealth of entrepreneurial, operations and leadership experience.”

The posting for the Director of Innovation and New Ventures has been available on higheredjobs.com since June 29, 2021. While the job position and description are still visible on HigherEdJobs, the College website does not have it listed under Administrative & Support Staff Opportunities. Slightly condensed, the job entails the following:

“Reporting to the Vice President [Timothy Anderson], the Director of Innovation and New Ventures is responsible for identifying, recommending, and launching new revenue initiatives for the institution. [ . . . ] The individual will conduct industry research on higher education to identify opportunities to consider that will impact colleges and universities in technology, new demographic[s], new distribution channels, new and high demand courses, and new business models such [as] revenue share. This role will conduct research on innovative industry trends in higher education. The role will attend higher education industry conferences to gather information on the latest new educational concepts in higher education.

Based on research and data, the Director will evaluate the financial viability of new opportunities to present to the College. The individual will conduct comprehensive strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis of new initiatives to assess how it will help the College gain a competitive edge. The Director will prepare detailed financial analysis to determine the long-term viability, sustainability and scalability of the new opportunities.

This role [will] work with a cross functional team including, but not limited to, academic affairs, student affairs, technology, marketing and communications, finance, and the president’s office to evaluate new opportunities and recommend funding for the opportunities.”

Also listed on HigherEdJobs, the position pays around $90,000 – $100,000 a year, which is more than an Associate Professor’s pay, according to the 156 reported salaries on the Whittier College Indeed page. This is also relatively high compared to other administrative jobs posted on HigherEdJobs on behalf of Whittier College, like the $50,000 – $54,000 yearly salary for an Assistant Director of Development, or the direction that “​​salary will commensurate with experience, skills, and knowledge” for job postings like an Administrative Assistant for the Department of Music, Student Accounts Specialist, and Graduate Admission Counselor, which all pay on an hourly basis.

There is no report or community recall of anyone at Whittier College taking on this role previously, so it is, most likely, a new office entirely — one that was created over the course of quarantine. This is further backed up by the fact that a page for the Office/Department does not yet exist on the College’s website, and that Timothy Anderson does not have a department listed alongside his name on the College’s staff directory. Nate Oubré is not yet listed here, either. In trying to find out more about the Office/Department of Innovation and New Ventures, Timothy Anderson denied the QC’s request to comment or partake in an interview. Stayed tuned; the QC will continue to report on the Office/Department of Innovation and New Ventures to keep the student body informed about what is going on at their college.

Featured Photo Courtesy of Whittier.edu

Author

  • Brianna Wilson is an English major who has been with the Quaker Campus since her first year at Whittier College. In-between work and school, Brianna loves journaling, working out, and watching YouTube videos (mostly from the gaming community).

Brianna Wilson is an English major who has been with the Quaker Campus since her first year at Whittier College. In-between work and school, Brianna loves journaling, working out, and watching YouTube videos (mostly from the gaming community).
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  1. A Concerned Student at Whittier College
    September 18, 2021

    Is this real?

    Is the college going to waste already limited resources into building out an office created out of nepotism & created without a purpose? Is Whittier College going to give purpose to another bureaucracy that will do what other departments have been doing just fine?

    “the Director of Innovation and New Ventures is responsible for identifying, recommending, and launching new revenue initiatives for the institution.” Does Whittier College seriously need to create an entire office for doing something the President should be already doing? We don’t have a budget like USC to sneak a bit of nepotism into our school without anyone noticing or taking away significantly from the budget. We don’t have the budget of a fiscally responsible & similarly-sized college to be able to expand into new bureaucracy, and even then, those colleges are very considerate in where their funding goes. I mean, we are in deep debt right now, enrollment is at an all-time low, and the president is still choosing to waste money by saving face and giving purpose to a purposeless office. We don’t have 100k/year to be giving the president’s son essentially for doing nothing, let alone when tenured professors and lifelong staff aren’t earning nearly as much.

    Instead of investing in self-serving bureaucracy & dumping money in an office that was created to be useless, it would better serve Whittier College students to invest what few resources we have into initiatives that help the students, such as electric charging stations in commuter parking lots for those who drive plug-ins and electrics, expanded hours at The Spot and Campus Inn & returning the diversity of food options such as vegan and gluten-free meals at both cafeterias. Also, our limited funds would be better spent on initiatives that rebuild trust in the college community by diverting all funds that would have gone towards this useless bureaucracy & funding nepotism and instead funding Air Conditioning in dorms and older buildings. Investing in outdoor tables & Whittier-themed outdoor spaces would do more to bring new revenue than anything the Officer of Innovation and New Ventures will do. These are the small quality-of-life tasks that would start to not only rebuild trust but also encourage increased enrollment. Keep in mind, these things are only a start of a list of changes that need to happen.

    Word-of-mouth influences potential students more than anything the best marketing can do, and Whittier is at a crossroads: the administration can choose to spread a positive word that it is actively correcting its mistakes, no longer creating self-serving bureaucracy, and no longer trying to save face by hiring more people to serve an inherently pointless office. Or, it can continue spreading the word it’s currently spreading of fiscal irresponsibility & financial troubles because the president decided to fund her son’s salary instead of improving quality of life for their students.

  2. Robert Schambach
    May 31, 2022

    I could not agree more with the Concerned Student. I’m a former student and son of long time faculty and am just hearing about this and other concerning things happening at the college.

    Wow. Bummer.

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