On Oct. 12, MC Alum Jordan McCullough (‘18) was officially appointed chief of staff to President Coker.
McCullough’s career with the college began during his sophomore year when he served as an Admissions ambassador and a resident assistant. Upon graduation, McCullough began working in Admissions full-time, earning his master’s of education in 2021. Currently serving as the assistant director, he will maintain his role until January, when he will fully transition into the new position.
This position was created after the departure of the President’s Assistant, Suzette Donovan, who had been working on the Maryville executive team since 2017. In a memorandum addressed to the Maryville College campus community, Coker expressed that while she will be missed, her vacancy presents an opportunity for growth.
Specifically, it called for the reevaluation of the team’s current structure. Coker expressed his belief that a high-functioning president’s office is “key to our institutional success.” He was inspired to create the position after studying president’s offices at comparable colleges, finding around 60 with this chief of staff model.
The official chief of staff job description describes this position as someone who reports to the President, provides administrative and organizational support to the President, provides leadership for the President’s Office and advances the Board of Director’s work. This means it also consists of attending various events alongside the president, periodically attending events in place of the president and assisting the president in various forms of communication.
McCullough added, “The role calls for me to act as an advisor and strategic thought partner to the President, assisting the President’s Office in implementing presidential initiatives and other special projects. So, my day-to-day can change rapidly depending on the needs of the office, which is both exciting and challenging.” He said that things have been off to a great start and expressed his excitement to serve the college in a new capacity, having served over five years in the Office of Admissions.
“I believe that my position will help the President’s Office communicate more effectively with the broader campus community and allow more individuals to connect with the work that we are doing up here. One of Dr. Coker’s goals for the President’s Office is to look for opportunities to be more innovative in doing the work of the College, so I hope to act as a catalyst for that innovation.”
McCullough’s goal is to offer his own expertise, while gathering and expressing the perspectives of others. Though not exactly certain how the role will transform the President’s Office, he believes it will open the doors to innovation.