• Update on the vice president for academic affairs search and question of possible restructuring

    I would like to update you on the progress of the search for the vice president for academic affairs. As you know, last year’s search process was not successful. Dr. Susan Alexander graciously agreed to continue as the interim vice president until a new vice president is hired. The members of the search committee (see below) also agreed to continue in their role.

    The search committee met on Sept. 15 to review application materials from candidates who applied since the position announcement was reposted last spring. During the course of the meeting, a question was raised: should the position of the vice president for academic affairs be restructured given the changes the institution has undergone in recent years with the establishment of colleges and schools? The search committee did not reach a conclusion on this question, but agreed that it was worthy of consideration.

    I took the question to the President’s Staff and to the Executive Vice President’s Cabinet for discussion. Dr. Janice Raffield, chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee and a search committee member, brought the question to the FAC and to the University Senate. The result of these conversations is that a significant groundswell of opinion recommending a change in structure has not emerged.

    The search committee met again on Sept. 29. After further discussion of this issue, the committee agreed that a change is not warranted at this time. Therefore, the search process will move forward.

    Three candidates have been selected for on-campus interviews. I anticipate these interviews will take place in early to mid November. As soon as the details regarding dates and schedules are finalized, the information will be published to allow members of the St. Thomas community sufficient lead time to put these dates into your schedules.

    Members of the search committee:

    • Judith Dwyer, executive vice president, chair
    • Angie Barretta-Herman, professor, School of Social Work and interim associate vice president for academic affairs
    • Ron Bennett, director of the Graduate Programs in Engineering and Technology Management and chair of the undergraduate Engineering Department
    • Tom Connery, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
    • Thomas Fish, associate professor and chair, Department of Educational Leadership
    • Neil Hamilton, professor of law, School of Law
    • Robert G. Kennedy, professor, College of Business
    • Jill Manske, associate professor, Biology Department (sabbatical replacemant for Simon Ems)
    • Nancy McGrath, assistant to the executive vice president and interim special assistant to the executive vice president for diversity
    • Robert K. Miller, professor, English Department
    • Janice Raffield, associate professor, Accounting, College of Business, and chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee
    • Greg Roberts, vice president for student affairs
    • Susan Webster, associate professor and chair, Art History, College of Arts and Sciences
    • Denae White, alumna, theology and psychology (graduated in May 2002)
    • Margaret Wick, interim director of institutional research and planning and interim special assistant to the executive vice president for mission
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