Following months of student backlash against the university’s decision not to renew his contract, former University Scholars Faculty Director Dave Maynard has returned to Stony Brook.
Maynard, who has worked in various capacities with Stony Brook University’s University Scholars program, Honors College and learning communities since 2001, was notified in August 2010 that his contract would not be renewed due to “budgetary constraints.”
The knowledge that Maynard would be departing set off a widespread student movement known as “Operation Save Dave.” The movement generated resolutions in the Undergraduate Student Government Senate, a petition garnering hundreds of signatures and numerous letters to the university.
According to Maynard, his reinstatement was both the result of changes to the budget and pressure from students and faculty members.
“What I was told was, yes, they found enough money in the budget to renew my contract, but also the various messages that reached the president and the provost had an impact,” Maynard said.
Maynard added that he was told through the Provost’s Office that the directive to reappoint him came from the President’s Office. Stony Brook University Director of Media Relations Lauren Sheprow declined to comment, citing university policy against discussing personnel matters.
Although he notes that it is “a little weird being fired and then coming back,” Maynard is glad to be back at the university.
“I’ve always enjoyed working at Stony Brook,” Maynard said. “Stony Brook students are fabulous.”
Students who spearheaded Operation Save Dave were also pleased by Maynard’s return to Stony Brook.
“Obviously, I’m very happy to hear that Dave has been reappointed to his position,” stated USG Executive Vice President Deborah Machalow, who wrote the USG resolution in support of Maynard last fall. “He’s an incredible asset for the University and an amazing resource for students. Unlike too many individuals on this campus, he legitimately cares about students and their well-being.”
In the face of glowing praise from supporters, Maynard is appreciative but humble.
“I’m eternally grateful for everything they did, because it’s quite extraordinary,” Maynard said of the students who spoke out against the university’s decision not to renew his contract. “I never think of myself as being too extraordinary, but I know the students who supported me definitely are.”
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