Francey leaves Utica College for Canisius


UC Theatre

Jason Francey with the cast of “Something Rotten!”

Isabella Hudziak, Managing News Editor

Utica College announced the departure of Assistant Director of College Engagement Jason Francey through the Morning Mention on Jan. 7.

Francey assisted in the planning and implementation of a comprehensive set of co- and extra-curricular experiences for students designed to increase student engagement and success, according to the announcement.

Francey was hired in 2018 as an area coordinator. He was promoted in 2019 to Assistant Director of College Living and held the position until this month when he accepted the position of Director of College Engagement at Canisius College.

Assistant Director of Leadership Development Bethany VanBenschoten said the college is currently in the process of gathering applications for the position and hopes to have a new hire as soon as possible.

“You have to love what you do,” VanBenschoten said. “You’ve got to have that drive and passion for working with college students.”

Francey, who had been involved in numerous student organizations, left a lasting impression on Utica College. 

“I was a little bit sad ‘cause I know how great of an advocate he’s been for the GSA and for a bunch of other advocacy groups on campus,” senior Alec Pease said. “Losing that person for us, that point of contact person that’s part of administration that’s willing to go to bat for us. It hurts a little bit to lose that person, but I’m also really happy for him because I know where he’s going.”

According to VanBenschoten, the availability of the Morning Mention to students and the rise in departures in the past few years have increased the knowledge of staff changes within the student body.

“It does seem like there’s more turnover going on right now,” said Justin Jones, president of the Theater Club at Utica College (TCUC) Pioneer Players and MBA finance student. “It could be for multiple reasons, including the job market’s prime to switch around and get better jobs other places.”

During his time at UC, Francey spearheaded several events and projects in the Student Living and College Engagement office, including the transition from the online portal PioneerPlace to PioHub in 2021.

“We worked really hard together to get new organizations on there and changing our processes and getting that sort of stuff running on the new portal,” VanBenschoten said. “He was the sole person when it came to researching, finding it and getting it all started.”

Francey trained Orientation Mentors and advised several organizations on campus, including the TCUC Pioneer Players.

“I was happy for him because he’s going on to a bigger opportunity, sad because I enjoyed working with him in theater and day-to-day, so kinda a mixed bag,” Jones said. “All in all happy for someone moving up.”