College out with old, in with new roles


Carolina Sanchez

Stan Wearden, senior vice president and provost, sent out an email Nov. 24 detailing plans to restructure the Office of Academic Affairs by eliminating and adding positions.

By Campus Editor

To better organize the Office of Academic Affairs and improve communication between the Office of the Provost, school deans and department chairs, the college is restructuring Academic Affairs by eliminating and adding positions. The changes will be in effect by July 1, 2015.

Stan Wearden, senior vice president and provost, sent out an email Nov. 24 detailing the planned changes. Wearden said in the email that he is eliminating the position of Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, currently held by Susan Marcus. He said he is going to launch a national search for a Senior Associate Provost for Academic Operations, who will take the place of the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and will be second in command over Academic Affairs to oversee the college’s online and global presences.

In addition to this new position, Wearden said he is eliminating the position of associate provost for creative technology strategy, which is currently held by Insook Choi. In its place, the college will launch a search for vice provost for online education, a position that will work directly with the deans, chairs and faculty to create additional online courses and programs.

Once the senior associate provost for academic operations position is filled, Wearden said another search will be launched for a vice provost for global education, a position that will be responsible for organizing and expanding the existing international program.

Effective Jan. 1, Pegeen Quinn, assistant provost and an adjunct faculty member in the First-Year Seminar Department, will be promoted to associate provost for Academic Personnel, a new position that will include overseeing all academic hiring and personnel issues, instructional records and activities related to faculty development, according to the email.

David Valadez, assistant vice president of Budget Management, and his staff will be moved from the Office of Academic Affairs to the division of Business Affairs where they will oversee the academic budget, the email stated.

Also effective Jan. 1, Marvin Cohen, director and registrar in the Records Office, will be promoted to registrar of the college and will be responsible for consolidation operations, overseeing student records, degree evaluation, curriculum services and graduation.

Anne Foley, who is currently associate vice president of Accreditation & Compliance in the Planning and Compliance Department, will undergo a title change and will become associate vice president for Assessment, Accreditation and Compliance, effective Jan. 1. Foley’s responsibilities will continue to include ensuring the college’s compliance with Higher Learning Commission standards and criteria to prepare it for reaccreditation.

President Kwang-Wu Kim was unable to comment on the restructuring, as of press time, because he was out of the country.

In an interview with The Chronicle, Wearden said he decided to restructure the Office of Academic Affairs because the college needs a more effective and efficient system than the one currently in place. He said the new positions will contribute to a stronger Office of Academic Affairs.

“I think this will be a structure that brings in people who can really get some things done for the college that we’ve been kind of behind the times on,” Wearden said. “I’m looking for people who are knowledgeable … people who are very strategic thinkers, but most importantly of all for me, people who are doers—people who get things done.”

Although Choi and Marcus will lose their positions, Wearden said they can apply and be considered for the new ones but that a national search will still be launched for both positions. He said although there are expenses to initiating searches, it will be worthwhile because it will benefit the college in coming years.

“It is possible that the best possible people are here already, but we don’t know that until we open it up nationally,” Wearden said. “This is a very efficient use of student tuition dollars because these are critical positions that are going to have an impact on enrollment in the future and impact on college finances in the future.”

Although the changes do not directly affect students, they will affect the quality of curriculum in coming years, Wearden said. He said students will also notice more courses offered in graduate, online and study abroad areas, adding that increasing the college’s international student population is a priority. 

“We could have a larger number of highly qualified international students here, which would be good for international students and for domestic students,” Wearden said. “It creates a more diverse atmosphere.”

Wearden said he chose not to wait until the Spring 2015 semester to announce the changes to the office because the campus community has been awaiting his assessment of it since he arrived at the college in July 2014.

“People have been wondering about my views on the structure of Academic Affairs for a while now,” Wearden said. “People knew that when I came in, there would probably be some changes. I really didn’t want to keep people in suspense any longer.”