Over the last few months I have been considering the governance
structures which I inherited from my predecessors, and how well these
have served us during a time of incredible change and fiscal
difficulty. Several members of the faculty have suggested increasing
the membership of my closest advisory body, the Administrative Cabinet.
After great consideration and consultation, I have concluded that the
campus would benefit from a change in the composition of the Cabinet.
One should not conclude that the Cabinet or the existing advisory
structure has failed in any way, but, rather, as we move into a new
period in which we deeply hope that stability and possibly even growth
will be the norms, I would benefit from the advice of a slightly larger
group. As a result, I have determined to end the Administrative
Cabinet as it has existed for many years in favor of a President’s
Council, as the highest advisory body to me. The major change is that
the academic deans will be included in the President’s Council, along
with all of the Vice Presidents, my executive assistant, Carol Rourke,
and the Dean of Students, Chip Morris, who will represent Student
Affairs during the period that Vice President Chris Strong is on leave.
The deans have been actively consulted in the past few years, including
sitting with the Administrative Cabinet from time to time, but this new
structure will more fully integrate them into the decision-making
process. The President’s Council will advise me on all matters and make
final recommendations to me on issues of the budget and policy for the
The other governance body which has served the campus well in the past is the Leadership Council. Under Dr. Fallon the Leadership Council began a transition from a governance body to a venue for communication, a function it has continued to serve. At the same time, the membership of the Council is limited to only some of directors on campus. After consultation in the Administrative Cabinet, I have decided to reorganize this group to include most director level positions. The newly constituted Leadership Forum will serve as a mechanism for communication and consultation, to facilitate communication among the administrative units of the College. For example, as new policies or initiatives are developed they will be presented to the Leadership Forum so that the directors might be better informed and better able to explain them to other members of the campus community. While the Leadership Council has recently been meeting every month, the Leadership Forum will meet twice each semester and will focus on a specific and pertinent topic.
As I have announced at Faculty Senate, starting this fall, I will meet regularly with the Business Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate to present information regarding the budgetary issues confronting the campus. The Provost and Vice President Lewis will also meet with the committee to offer pertinent data. As questions about the budget arise, I hope that they will be forwarded to the Business Affairs Committee so that we have the opportunity to respond in a timely manner. The Business Affairs Committee has been charged to continue the work of the Resource Transparency Committee. I will assist in that effort and make pertinent budget information available in a user-friendly format.