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Of all the recent changes at Cardozo Law, the most astonishing to the students will probably be the loss of J. Douglas Gilbertson, Assistant Director of Financial Aid. Last year’s winner of the Administrator of the Year Award from the Class of 2000 finished his four year career at Cardozo on August 18, 2000. “I have done my best to make a confusing process often more attainable for the students,” Doug said in his parting remarks to the Insider. “I understand what a scary process it must be for students. I tried to walk them through it as much as I could, whether it was financial aid or something else that I knew I could help them with.” “I want everyone here to know,” he added, “that I am not leaving hatefully. I am leaving with good memories of all the people that I worked with. I have enjoyed working with all of the students that I have had the pleasure of meeting. Cardozo students are truly the cream of the crop.” Approximately four months ago Neal Harris, now former Director of Student Financial Aid at Yeshiva University, who was with Yeshiva for decades, resigned from his position to go to Mercy College. During the summer break, Harris asked Doug to accompany him to Mercy, an offer that would significantly raise his salary. Doug, who received his Master’s Degree in Higher Administration from the University of South Carolina with a concentration in Student Personal Services, informed Yeshiva Human Resources of the offer from Harris. He offered to stay at Yeshiva if the university would match the offered salary and finally provide the now former assistant director of financial aid with an office. In response, Yeshiva made no counteroffer, even though both Assistant Dean of Financial Affairs Matt Levin and Assistant Dean of Admissions Robert Schwartz made telephone calls to the Yeshiva administration informing them of Doug’s importance to Cardozo and its student body. “I made calls to some high up people at Y.U.,” stated Dean Schwartz. “I am very sorry to see Doug go. He was loved by the students and very helpful to me in speaking to newcomers. This is a big loss for the school.” “I am very sorry to lose Doug,” stated Tom Curtin, Cardozo’s Director of Student Finance and Doug’s supervisor. “Doug was an excellent worker and friend. I wish we did not have to lose a guy like Doug.” “I think I can speak for all the students at Cardozo,” added Student Bar Association President Andrew Leftt, “that we are sorry to see him leave, and we wish him all the best.” Doug, who was stunned by Yeshiva’s utter lack of effort to keep him at Cardozo, explained that he would have stayed even if Yeshiva would not match the salary difference, and even though he and his wife are expecting a child in February. “I would have worked with them,” he referred to the Yeshiva administration, “but they didn’t do anything at all to keep me. I guess I wasn’t worth it to them.” However, the request for an office was something that Doug firmly stood by. Throughout his four years at Cardozo, he has worked at a cramped desk in the Financial Aid/Registrar office space on the 10th floor, which is shared by anywhere from six to nine administrators and assistants. “I really wanted the space for the students,” Doug explained. “You’ve seen where I sit. There’s no room for students there.” Apparently, two years ago Yeshiva was promising Doug an office when its administration was planning to renovate the tenth floor at Cardozo, a plan that will not materialize until next spring. Since the renovations did not occur, no office space was granted to the former assistant director. Meanwhile, several unused offices on the 10th and 11th floors continued to sit empty, and as soon as the On-line Journal of Conflict Resolution is moved out of room 1013, Doug’s replacement, Keith Babich, will have his own office. Babich, who arrived at Cardozo on August 21, 2000, is an experienced administrator, who was in charge of graduate financial aid at Yeshiva. “I know Keith,” Doug said about Babich before he left. “He’s a good guy with a good reputation.” Tom Curtin and Rob Schwartz made similar remarks regarding the new assistant director. “The thing I’ll miss the most about Cardozo,” Doug added, “is that here I knew the students by name, and everyone referred to me as Doug. At Mercy, the kids will probably refer to me as Mr. Gilbertson.”

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