Former Honors Program associate director starts new position at CMU

Hayley leads a chant as the group makes their way past Warriner Hall, April 16, in Warriner Mall. While Hayley essentially planned and organized the entire protest, her fellow leader, Gwen Hackett, led many of the chants during the actual event.

Judy Idema, former associate director of the Honors Program, started a new position as the assistant director of student engagement, diversity & wellness for the College of Medicine on Tuesday, Sept. 7.

“I am happy to join the College of Medicine team and support students on their path to becoming doctors," Idema said. "In the short time I have been here, I have appreciated the warmth, energy and opportunity to make a difference in the lives of future physicians.” 

In her new position, Idema said she works under the general supervision of the Associate Dean of Student Affairs of the College of Medicine and in cooperation with appropriate College of Medicine offices including the Office of Medical Education and within existing university policies, procedures, and practices.

On March 31, Idema received a letter from Honors Program Director Nicole Barco stating her position was being eliminated. 

“It is with regret that I inform you that your position as Associate Director of the Honors Program is being eliminated and as a result, you will be laid off," the letter from Barco states. "This decision is based solely on the needs of the department to ensure efficient and effective operations and is not performance based.”

In April, students protested and petitioned what they believed was an "unjust firing" of Idema. The state of the Honors Program following the dismissal of Idema was also a topic at the April 21 and 22 Board of Trustees meetings.