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Chancellor's Blog: Administrative changes at UW-Eau Claire

| Chancellor James Schmidt

In March, after the announcement of Vice Chancellor Beth Hellwig’s pending retirement this summer, I announced my intention to reorganize leadership divisions to support our institutional priorities of student support, financial stability and enrollment management.

After discussing the reorganized structure with shared governance and units affected by the changes, I also held an open campus forum to discuss the changes and to solicit ideas. I firmly believe that we are smarter together, and this process has reinforced that conviction. I received many thoughtful suggestions and the final result is stronger and better for our institution than when we began. I want to thank everyone who took the time to share their comments.

This summer I am reorganizing three divisions:

  1. Finance and Administration;
  2. Enrollment Management; and
  3. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and Student Affairs.

The divisions will not add any additional administrators to our current structure. (See the future organizational chart.) We have retitled the divisional leader positions as vice chancellors to align with comparable roles at other institutions and to make the positions compelling for candidates.

National searches

For two divisions, I have authorized a national search for vice chancellor candidates. The first, the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, has been an open position for almost two years. The addition of the Children’s Nature Academy, University Centers and University Police to a portfolio that also includes the ASK Center, Human Resources and Budget and Resource Planning will help to attract strong candidates.

The second search — for a vice chancellor for the new division of Enrollment Management —will enable us to continue and enhance our commitment to student recruitment, retention and graduation during a time of increasing competition and reliance on student tuition funding. The division will include Admissions; the Advising, Retention and Career Center; Blugold Central; Recreation and Sports Programming; Athletics; and Housing and Residence Life.

Both national searches will be assisted by the consulting firm Academic Search, which will work closely with the newly formed search and screen committees to find strong candidates for these vital positions. (See the search committees’ membership.) I want to thank the shared governance nominating committees for their assistance in forwarding names to me. Advertising for the positions has begun and recruitment of candidates will continue through June. It is anticipated that finalist candidates will be on campus early in August.

Nominate candidates

I encourage everyone on campus to think about individuals you may know professionally, through conference presentations or at other institutions and to forward your nominations for either of these vice chancellor positions directly to Ann Hasselmo at Academic Search. Email your nominations to:

Dr. Tamara Johnson to lead EDI and Student Affairs division

With the retirement of Dr. Beth Hellwig this summer, I have asked Dr. Tamara Johnson to lead the new division of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and Student Affairs as vice chancellor. She retains oversight of the current EDI division, which includes the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Blugold Beginnings, the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, the McNair Program, Services for Students with Disabilities, Student Support Services, Upward Bound and Affirmative Action. Under the new structure, University Police will move to the division of Finance and Administration, and four units will join the EDI and Student Affairs division, including the Dean of Students Office, Student Health Services, Counseling Services and the Center for the Awareness of Sexual Assault. Student Senate operations will also be in the new division.

Dr. Johnson’s professional background, experience and contributions to student life have equipped her well to oversee Student Affairs units in addition to her existing EDI portfolio. Dr. Johnson came to UW-Eau Claire from the University of Chicago, where she served as director of Faculty Diversity Initiatives. She also brings more than 15 years of student affairs experience in offices such as residential life, counseling services and career services. She joined our campus community less than a year ago, after a national search, and since her arrival has had a significant impact on our EDI efforts. Her dedication to the success of all our students will continue the Student Affairs tradition of providing an exemplary and supportive student experience.

The new reorganization structure will be implemented as the vice chancellors are able to begin their duties, with Dr. Johnson stepping into her position following Dr. Hellwig’s departure.

Updates on the reorganization and vice chancellor searches will continue to be posted on the administrative reorganization Blugold Insider site and in future issues of the weekly Blugold FYI.