Multiple departments at Binghamton University have a new boss — Deanne Ellison.
Ellison, the University’s new director of Auxiliary Services, officially started her duties on Aug. 20. She replaced former Auxiliary Services Director Peter Napolitano, who retired in spring 2018. Auxiliary Services is responsible for nearly all assistance provided to students outside of education, including dining services, parking services, banking services and the University bookstore.
Ellison said she aims to provide students with resources to help foster a holistic college experience.
“We’ve moved into the experience era, where instead of buying something, students are looking for a more holistic experience,” Ellison said. “Auxiliary is one of the entities that can provide that. It is my every intention that every student has a positive and holistic experience here.”
Ellison was chosen by a committee of professionals affiliated with Auxiliary Services, including representatives from Transportation and Parking Services, Business Operations and BU Dining Services.
According to Jim Ruoff, resident district manager of Sodexo, Ellison was one of the many qualified candidates who applied for the position.
“I really appreciated the opportunity to be on the search committee,” Ruoff wrote in an email. “It speaks to the strength of Binghamton University that we were able to attract such a quality group of candidates. I am thrilled we were able to have Deanne Ellison join our community and I look forward to working with her.”
Ellison has worked for 22 years in auxiliary services at campuses across the country. For 10 years, she worked at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. Later, she moved to California State University Channel Islands in Camarillo, where she was interim executive director of Auxiliary Services.
“I was kind of the utility player on that campus,” Ellison said. “When we’d start something new, I’d be invited to come help with it.”
Ellison’s move from California State University Channel Islands to BU was a trip over 2,700 miles. She said the decision to apply for the job and move cross-country was driven by the positive appraisal the University has received.
“Binghamton leapt to the top of my search, it was my number one choice,” Ellison said. “Binghamton University has a myriad of national recognitions, that was what really impressed me. The fact that it is considered the ‘smart SUNY’ really resonated with me.”
The choice to come to New York was not just a professional one, but also a personal one for Ellison and her husband.
“My significant other grew up in this area and he retired in July from the campus we both worked at in California,” Ellison said. “So I got to include New York in my search thinking he certainly would like to come home.”
Ellison also hopes to plan for BU’s future. Over the past few years, the University has seen an increase in enrolled students, and Ellison wrote in an email that she has plans to grow Auxiliary Services alongside the University itself.
“My team and I are laying groundwork and collaboratively developing structure for the continued growth of the auxiliary to meet the ever-evolving needs of the students and community of Binghamton University,” Ellison wrote.