President outlines administrative organizational changes, cites need for national prominence, provost recruitment

May 15, 2012 | UToday
By Jon Strunk

UT President Lloyd Jacobs is ushering a spirit of integration into his organizational structure, while empowering University leaders to get what he identifies as “narrower and deeper” in several key areas.

“Any relevant institution adapts to meet the current needs of its customers and address the external challenges it faces,” Jacobs said, noting the changes taking place primarily in the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the Division of External Affairs and the Division of Administration. “One of this institution’s strengths lies in the relationships between members of UT’s senior leadership and the support all leaders provide across the spectrum of University functions.”

He continued, “As we recruit a provost, one of the most important leadership positions at the University, we have made some organization changes designed to help attract the highest caliber leader possible, while asking that our senior administrators embrace their roles as university officers and provide leadership that transcends organizational structures.”

Division of External Affairs
Among these changes is the shift of Enrollment Services from External Affairs to the Office of the Provost.

In addition to provost recruitment benefits, Jacobs said the changes will have the added benefit of enabling Lawrence J. Burns, vice president for external affairs, to narrow his portfolio and focus more on his division’s attention toward promoting the University and obtaining national exposure for UT’s research, teaching and community service efforts.

“As long as I have known Larry, the answer to any request of him is always ‘yes,’” Jacobs said, pointing to Burns’ leadership in equity, diversity and community engagement in addition to his enrollment, marketing, communications, web development and ambassadorial roles.

“Larry and his team will continue to lead UT’s marketing and communications efforts as UT reaches out to prospective students,” Jacobs said. “But I’ve also asked him to spend a greater portion of his time leading University efforts to help raise the national profile of UT’s excellent and ongoing research, teaching and community engagement.”

Additional changes in the division include Print and Mail Services moving under the chief financial officer and vice president for finance and the removal of the interim title, permanently locating the Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Engagement in External Affairs.

“This is an opportunity for External Affairs to focus more on sharing stories of UT successes across the region, state and nation,” Burns said. “Our marketing, communications, web and technology efforts will continue to promote areas of excellence throughout our University. Our focus on equity, diversity and community engagement will continue to highlight the strength that is generated by embracing our values and people of diverse backgrounds.”

Office of the Provost
In addition to the enrollment management transition, other changes in the Office of the Provost include creation of two new offices and the redefinition of roles and responsibilities.

The Office of Assessment, Accreditation and Program Review is being established in recognition of the importance of a proactive approach to continuous improvement. The reintroduction of academic program review after a 10-year hiatus and the new demands of an evolving Higher Learning Commission accreditation process, as well as the ongoing assessment program, necessitate a commitment of resources to support this critical activity.

The Office of Student Success will bring sharper focus to the array of essential academic support resources and activities, including orientation, accessibility services, tutoring services, placement testing and the Writing Center, domestic service learning, and career services.

Those appointed to the newly created or organized positions are:

• Dr. Penny Poplin Gosetti, vice provost for assessment, accreditation and program review;

• Dr. Margaret Traband, vice provost for academic policy and faculty affairs;

• Dr. Ben Pryor, vice provost for academic program development;

• Dr. Sammy Spann, assistant provost for international studies and programs;

• Angela Paprocki, assistant provost for student success; and

• Cathi Kwapich, assistant provost for enrollment management.

In her role as vice provost for academic policy and faculty affairs, Traband will have responsibility for the development and management of academic policies; faculty development; new faculty orientation; appointment, promotion and tenure; and advising.

In his role as vice provost for academic program development, Pryor will continue to provide leadership in curricular innovation, technology-enhanced learning (including Learning Ventures) and libraries, and will take a leadership role in the continued development of existing interdisciplinary schools and the creation of new ones. The College of Innovative Learning will be discontinued, but its component parts will continue to report to Pryor.

Another significant change affects the Gateway Program, which serves students who are undecided, undeclared or are still working to be accepted into their major of choice.

“Because we believe it is essential that every student have an ‘academic home,’ returning Gateway students and new students who would have entered the Gateway Program this fall will enroll in either the Department of Exploratory Studies or the General Studies Program in the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences,” Jacobs said.

Office of the President

The Office of Institutional Research will continue to be led by Dr. Geoffrey Martin and will move from the Office of the Provost and report directly to the Office of the President. Additionally, D’Naie Jacobs will join the Office of the President as project manager. She and the president are unrelated.

Division of Administration
In the Division of Administration, an internal and external search is under way to fill a new, single position to lead the Office of Human Resources and Talent Development to replace the current co-leaders.

Additional reorganization in the division has resulted in the new or reorganized positions of:

• Dan Klett, university architect;

• Vic Brigner, university facilities and biomedical technology officer;

• Jason Toth, university chief engineer;

• Jim Graff, director of facilities operations; and

• Jeff Newton, public safety officer and chief of police.

Chuck Lehnert, vice president for administration, said the changes come following a comprehensive external review.

“It is always healthy to step back from your organization and determine if it is still set up to best address current customer needs,” Lehnert said. “These shifts, particularly, in Human Resources and Talent Development, will reduce cycle times, enable us to provide better service internally, and further solidify UT as an employer of choice in the region.”

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