Additional Provost Office Organization Changes Announced

By Jonathan Levin, Provost
I’ve spent a good portion of my time recently thinking about how to structure the Provost’s Office in a way that will most effectively accomplish the important challenges that lie ahead of us. I am very pleased to share with you two new organizational changes I will make –a redefinition and new title for the former position of Associate Provost for Enrollment Management and Student Services, and the establishment of a new position as Special Assistant to the Provost for Teaching, Technology, and Innovation.

As you already know, we are presently searching for an Associate Provost for Enrollment Management, who will oversee Admissions, Financial Aid, and the Enrollment Management and Retention Committee.  That position has combined some of the job responsibilities that were formerly associated with the Associate Provost for Enrollment Management and Student Services with those presently in the portfolio of the Associate Provost for Admission and Financial Aid.  Among the duties assigned are: oversight and development of all aspects of admissions operations and programs; alignment of admissions efforts with academic planning; development and execution of a comprehensive admissions and enrollment strategy (working in partnership with key constituencies such as academic departments, alumni, and other community members); and leadership of campus-wide enrollment management and retention efforts. Redefinition of this position created the need to refocus the former Enrollment Management and Student Services position in order to ensure proper attention to important priorities.

The new Associate Provost for Academic Engagement and Student Success position will oversee and organize a number of units that touch students and their academic lives in many different but interrelated ways.  Direct reports to this Associate Provost will include the Director of Academic and Career Services, the Director of Disability Resources, the Directors of the Writing and Speaking Centers, and the Director of the Quality Enhancement Plan.   As these are all areas that work directly with students, this Associate Provost will be charged with overseeing students’ academic support, especially in their first and second years, as well as with development and oversight of the academic component of orientation.  The Associate Provost for Academic Engagement and Student Success will be a full-time administrative position; we will conduct a national search to fill this position, though applications from internal candidates will be welcome. I expect we will begin this search early in the spring semester with a goal of bringing the new hire on board by the start of the 2014-15 fiscal year. Look for a position announcement to be distributed before the end of the fall semester.

On a related note, I am happy to report that the committee searching for the next Director of Academic and Career Services will conduct campus interviews next week with a small group of finalists; I remain cautiously optimistic that this position will be filled around the start of the spring semester.

I am also pleased to announce that we will also look to appoint a Special Assistant to the Provost for Teaching, Technology, and Innovation.  This will be a faculty member with a half time administrative assignment, charged with developing a comprehensive strategy for deploying new technologies and other innovative teaching initiatives to further distinguish the learning experience at UMW. The appointment will carry a stipend along with the teaching load reduction as compensation.

Among institutions our size and with similar missions, UMW has been a leader in developing innovative uses of technology to support student learning, but this activity is presently distributed among several different units.  The Special Assistant will be charged with coordinating these various efforts and building faculty (and by extension, student) participation.  The Special Assistant will also help ensure that the new Information Technology Convergence Center, which will open in fall 2014, is being leveraged to the fullest extent possible, especially with respect to the deployment of various new teaching and learning spaces that the building will provide.  The Special Assistant to the Provost for Teaching, Technology, and Innovation will be charged with developing and coordinating a comprehensive strategy to reach these goals.  Direct reports will include the Directors of the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies and the Center for Teaching Excellence and Innovation.

As this is an initiative designed to build upon our considerable success in this area, this will be an on-campus only search and I will solicit nominations for this position from among the current tenured members of the teaching faculty. An announcement for this position will also be sent out before the end of the fall semester. I’ll also name a search committee to assist in reviewing the applications received from faculty applicants.

These organizational changes obviously impact the position of Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, who currently supervises a number of the persons who will be reporting to one of the new positions. John Morello is continuing in his present role and will: serve as the Provost’s chief deputy; advise on matters of academic budget and space; serve as the academic affairs policy manager; continue to oversee the external research grants process; organize an annual university research report (as required by the SACSCOC recommendation); oversee production of the Academic Catalogs and the Faculty Handbook; and serve as UMW’s SACSCOC accreditation liaison and as SCHEV academic liaison. He will also supervise the Director of Debate, the Debate Coach, and the Director of Center for International Education.

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