The Outdoor Programs Office (OPO) has put an interim management structure in place as the College moves ahead with a process to search for the next director of the office following the resignation last month of director Tim Burdick ’89.
In the interim structure, Associate Dean for Student Life Eric Ramsey will oversee administrative operations and OPO Assistant Director Rory Gawler ’05 and Paul “Coz” Teplitz will serve as co-directors for programmatic offerings. Teplitz comes to Dartmouth from Harvard University, where he has supervised the outdoor program for the past nine years. He also spent six years with the North Carolina Outward Bound School.
In addition, Brian Kunz, the longtime OPO deputy director who retired last year, will serve as a consultant and adviser to the office.
“Our out-of-doors program is foundational to the Dartmouth experience and its success is very important to all of us. We look forward to gathering feedback in the summer and early fall from students, faculty, staff, and alumni on what skills and talents they think the next leader of our program should have,” says Ramsey, who is also director of the Collis Center.
OPO will soon announce dates and times for the feedback sessions, he says. The College expects to launch the search for the next OPO director this coming fall.
The OPO office is part of the student life area of Dartmouth’s Student Affairs Division and works to further the College’s educational mission through outdoor opportunities. The office has administrative responsibility for a number of areas and programs, including the Dartmouth Outing Club, the Connecticut River waterfront, Ledyard Canoe Club, Moosilauke Ravine Lodge, and recreational and educational uses of the Second College Grant.
Dartmouth has hired Willow Nilsen, who has been a teacher for four years at Keene Middle School, in Keene, N.H. She begins work next week as a program coordinator in OPO and will support the Dartmouth Outing Club. Gunnar Johnson has been hired as program coordinator for community and educational programs.
Johnson has worked in OPO since 2016, supporting various programs including overseeing the Jonathan Belden Daniels ’86 Memorial Climbing Gym and the Charles W. Drake ’90 and Josh Hane ’89 Leadership and Training Center.
“We look forward to the great infusion of ideas that Coz, Willow, and Gunnar will bring to our work this summer and in the coming year,” Ramsey says.