Yesterday I consulted with the University Senate Executive Committee about administrative organizational changes that I believe will serve the University well, enable us to maintain our momentum, maximize the summer work period and position us to begin the coming academic year strongly. They are as follows:
● I am naming Dr. Steven Tallant interim provost and vice chancellor effective immediately. Dr. Tallant, the associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, has been handling many of the provost's duties since Provost Satz became ill. I am appreciative of the work that Dr. Tallant and administrative officer Jan Morse have done to keep the Office of Academic Affairs running smoothly since late November. Jan Morse will continue to play an important role in this transition with some adjustment to her responsibilities. The director of athletics, now reporting to Dr. Tallant, will report to Student Services.
● I am naming Dr. Andrew Phillips, chair of the Department of Computer Science, interim associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies. We will work with the Computer Science Department to ensure that new leadership is put in place there.
● James Lowe, interim assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs, will have his responsibilities adjusted with the result being a sharper focus on technology administration and a more appropriate title.
● Dr. Mark Clark, dean of the College of Professional Studies and graduate dean, has elected to move to his backup position and assume the responsibilities of a full-time faculty member in the Foundations of Education Department in the School of Education. The associate deans of education (Katherine Rhoades), nursing (Elaine Wendt), and human sciences and services (Pat Christopherson) will report directly to the Interim Provost. These more direct reporting lines will strengthen the programs and departments housed in these schools.
Further, it is my belief that the university will be better served with an organizational arrangement more similar to what was in place previously; that is, a separate College of Education, a separate College of Nursing, and an appropriate and functional home for the departments that now make up the School of Human Sciences and Services. I will be working closely with the University Senate and our governance structure toward that end and in as timely a manner as process will allow.
The brevity of this message doesn't do justice to the time and thought necessary in making these decisions. The timing of the announcement is precipitated by the very recent change in Provost Satz's status. The content of the announcement is a result of conversations that I have had with Dr. Satz over a period of time, my own observations and thinking, consultation with other key people, and my resolve to put in place an organizational structure capable of delivering the quality which has become our trademark and to do that to the best of our ability in spite of the fiscal and functional challenges we face.
Rest assured there will continue to be open and candid discussions as we implement these changes as well as those that ripple out from them. In so doing, personnel rules will be followed, individuals will be treated fairly, and when the process is complete, neither our operating budget nor our position count will be negatively impacted. At the regularly scheduled University Senate meeting on May 11, there will be an opportunity to discuss these changes, hear the accompanying rationale to support them and learn any new relevant information. I stand ready to schedule another meeting, open-forum style, at a convenient time during final exam week. In the meantime, I suspect there will be numerous and informative discussions as a result of additional communication with many of you.