Board votes unanimously to adopt new structure for administration


Gannon University’s Board of Trustees meeting Friday went as planned as the board voted unanimously to enact the new administrative organizational structure for the 2016-2017 academic year.
Gannon President Keith Taylor, Ph. D., said that the new structure is designed to distribute the work load of the previous position of provost and vice president for academic affairs in order to become more efficient in carrying out the tasks.
“Essentially, what we’ve done is taken that big group of tasks and responsibilities and we’ve split them to some degree,” Taylor said. “There will be two people that have much more focus.”
In the previous structure, the title of provost and vice president for academic affairs was held by one person doing two major components.
Taylor said in the new structure, there will be a vice president for academic affairs and a vice president for academic administration.
The vice president for academic affairs will be focused on teaching and learning and will also be the chief academic officer.
Taylor said the new role of vice president for academic administration will be focused not only on current processes and administrative work but, will also be looking forward at new markets, programs, academic adventures and new campus development.
“[The new roles] will not be separate from [each other] but have to be tied to [each other,]” Taylor said.
“This needs to be a partnership, not only between these two vice president roles and everybody in the academic affairs division, but everybody in the academic administration as well as student development and engagement and finance and administration.
“This whole team has to work together.”
Taylor said that the next step is to assemble a search committee to hire a distinguished individual to take on the role of vice president for academic affairs.
Gannon hopes to have that spot filled by July 2016.
Taylor said that there aren’t many new challenges that come with this new structure; most are challenges that existed previously, such as having a flat administrative structure.
Taylor also said that there are two major advantages to this new administrative structure.
One is the enhanced focus on teaching and learning, which comes in the role of vice president for academic affairs.
The other advantage is the voice of the faculty and students is louder.
“The focus on teaching, learning and scholarship and someone with [those duties] as their primary focus [combined with] the voice of the faculty and students being louder at the senior administrative table would be the two biggest things,” Taylor said.
Taylor also said from the organizational perspective, there are advantages revolving around workflow, decision making and the efficiency of project management.
“There are organizational things that make this a better system,” Taylor said. “It’s important for us to have an effective leadership team and an efficient leadership team.”
Taylor said that he hopes that the Gannon community will continue to keep Carolynn Masters, Ph. D., and Steve Mauro, Ph. D., in their thoughts.
Masters stepped down from her role of provost and vice president for academic affairs two weeks ago due to personal reasons.
Masters’ resignation in combination with next year’s planned retirement of Kathleen Kingston, Ph. D., provoked a review of the structure of Gannon’s administration, which led to the new, reformed configuration.
Mauro stepped up to the role of interim provost and vice president for academic affairs for the rest of the 2015-2016 academic year.
Kris Legters will serve as the interim dean of the Morosky College of Health Professions and Science.
“Structurally, this puts us in a better place,” Taylor said. “Whether you’re building a human, building a machine or building an organization, you look at what it has to do and you structure the thing so it does what it has to do.”

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