A well-known figure in the university’s First Year Experience program resigned from her position last week, much to the dismay of several students and staff who worked with her.
Carrie Zimmerman, who was actively involved for 15 years in Student Development Services’ Frog Camp and orientation programs, resigned Feb. 9 for personal reasons, Don Mills, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, said Monday. Mills declined to comment further on the specific reasons for her leaving.
Mills said he doubts the university will release a statement regarding her departure, stating that it is against university policy to comment on employees who quit for personal reasons. Her position would be filled by existing staff until a position description is put together and a profile of whom the university wants is created, he said.
Mills said he doesn’t know when a replacement will be selected.
Ray Brown, dean of admission and Zimmerman’s former colleague, said he still has not heard any details about Zimmerman’s resignation, but he called the news “a stunner.”
“It’s very odd how this has transpired,” he said. “I am heartsick about it.”
Brown called Zimmerman a “real star at the university.”
Zimmerman has been in his thoughts and prayers every night since she resigned, he said.
“I just pray that what has gone on would resolve itself,” he said.
Zimmerman’s greatest skill was her speaking ability, Brown said.
Brown recalled one “Monday at TCU” at which the keynote speaker had to cancel, but Zimmerman stepped up and presented a seamless speech.
But Zimmerman’s gifts did not stop with her speaking ability, Brown said.
“There are precious few who are as committed to students as she is,” he said.
Brown said the success of the university’s Frog Camp program is due in large part to Zimmerman’s commitment.
Sydney Sherow, a junior theatre major who worked with Zimmerman as an orientation student assistant, said she has not had time to react to the resignation yet.
“I don’t think I’ve dealt with it yet,” she said. “I’m not going to really deal with it until I start working with Student Development Services again.”
Sherow said she would not have connected with the university if it had not been for Zimmerman, who she called her role model.
When she encountered personal struggles during her time as an OSA, Zimmerman was there to support her, Sherow said, providing her with resources for help and giving her time off to recover.
Sherow said students she has spoken with also seemed shocked.
“Everybody’s sad and confused because they don’t know what’s going on,” she said. “(I’m) wishing her the best in everything.”
Andrew Conant, a junior business major who also worked with Zimmerman as an OSA, said he thinks Zimmerman will do well wherever she goes.
“She was such a great person and she provided so much for TCU’s First Year Experience program,” Conant said. “She was also really fun to be around. I know she’ll be happy wherever she is.”
Robin Williamson, associate director of TCU Transitions for Student Development Services, declined to comment on Zimmerman’s resignation, citing Zimmerman’s privacy.
Attempts to reach Zimmerman via telephone were unsuccessful.