Office of the Provost Staffing Changes

Dear Colleagues,

As the semester comes to a close, I want to share with you information about some organizational changes and additions to the Office of the Provost that will help us better serve our constituents and further advance the University's academic goals. These changes—which take effect on January 1, 2013 and relate to the Provost's senior staff, support staff, and educational support units—come as a result of new units transitioning to the provost's office and after a thorough assessment of office responsibilities and personnel needs.

Senior Staff
First, I've asked Deb Cran to serve as my chief of staff and be a general point of contact for the office. As many of you know, Deb has served as the chief of staff to Senior Vice President Robert Jones for the past 12 years. Her long experience at the University and deep understanding of central units and responsibilities, together with her sustained work with the coordinate campuses, will be tremendously helpful, especially as several functions from the Office of Academic Administration move into the provost's office and we enhance our academic services to all of the campuses. We will all feel deeply the loss of Robert's leadership, and we are grateful that Deb will be here to help us through the complex transition.

Second, I've asked Joe Shultz to serve as my deputy chief of staff and to continue to direct the work of the other senior staff, including oversight of office processes and projects. In addition, Joe will continue to serve as liaison to the Board of Regents and to work closely with units during the compact process. He will also take the lead on some special projects and coordinating some large institutional efforts, such as the Twin Cities campus reaccreditation review scheduled for 2015–16.

Emily Ronning and Marlo Welshons have become important members of my team since joining the office this summer as assistants to the provost. Emily's responsibilities include coordinating the review and approval of academic program proposals, producing the University's annual accountability report, planning the Ford Lecture Series, and administering the Imagine Fund. Marlo's responsibilities include serving on the Policy Advisory Committee, staffing the Interdisciplinary Team, working with Vice Provosts Robert McMaster and Henning Schroeder on academic program review, and developing communications for the Office of the Provost. Finally, I plan to hire a third assistant to the provost in 2013. That position will be posted early next semester and I invite you to share your nominations with Joe Shultz.

Support Staff
Mary Alice Schumacher will continue to manage my calendar, track projects and requests, and manage office staff, with Elizabeth Duykers joining her in coordinating the workflow of the office and supporting our operations. Michelle Tillman and Pritika Egemo will continue to support the senior staff and me and to handle a variety of office activities.

Educational Support Units
I have appointed Bob Rubinyi as director of eLearning, with key responsibilities for advancing the eLearning agenda across the University within undergraduate, graduate, and professional education. Bob will continue to work with me and on some initiatives connected with faculty affairs and with graduate and professional education, but many of our eLearning efforts will be focused on undergraduate education, so he will report directly to Vice Provost Robert McMaster and will lead staff from the former Office of Distributed Education and Instructional Technology, including Sue Engelmann, Sandra Ecklein, Amanda Rondeau, and Chris Scruton. He will also work closely with Professor Chris Cramer, who is serving this year as the provost's faculty liaison for eLearning initiatives. (And let me remind you again that the RFP for Enhancement of Academic Programs Using Digital Technology is open until January 31, 2013—please encourage your faculty to submit proposals.)

In addition, the Center for Teaching and Learning will move from the Office of Human Resources to the provost's office. Director David Langley will report to Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs Arlene Carney. This change will better position the center to collaborate with other faculty development initiatives within the office.

Finally, I want to reaffirm my warm welcome to the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance, the Office for Public Engagement, and Extension. The respective leaders of these units—Meredith McQuaid, Andy Furco, and Bev Durgan—will report to me effective January 1, and I very much look forward to working with them.

I encourage you to contact any of these individuals and offices if they can be of assistance to you in their new roles. For a complete staff and unit listing, please see the directory on my website.


Karen Hanson signature.

Karen Hanson,
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

email sent December 18, 2012 to the Administrative Email Lists (AEL).