July 22, 2009
WOOSTER, Ohio — The College of Wooster has implemented a new model for academic administration designed to increase efficiency and enhance the effectiveness of its operation. The positions of Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs have been eliminated and replaced by a new chief academic officer position with the title of Provost. Shila Garg, who served as Dean of the Faculty for the past seven years, has been named interim Provost. She will oversee two newly created academic Deans’ positions.
“It’s a more vertical structure,” said Garg. “This will eliminate duplication of responsibilities and give the Provost more time to focus on larger strategic issues, while assisting the President in the priorities he has set for the College.”
Henry Kreuzman, associate professor of philosophy, will serve as Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement, which will give him oversight in matters involving curriculum and student petitions. He will also oversee Wooster’s First-Year Seminar program as well as the Learning Center and the Writing Center. Heather FitzGibbon, professor of sociology and anthropology, will serve as Dean for Faculty Development, which will involve mentoring faculty and supporting their teaching and research. She will also have the primary responsibility of coordinating undergraduate research programs on campus.
“I am very pleased to have Hank and Heather serve as the new deans, and I am looking forward to working with them” said Garg. “They bring a great deal of experience and expertise. They have a passion for the liberal arts and a genuine concern for faculty welfare and student learning. Both are very well suited for these positions.”
Related changes include the appointment of Jill Munroe as Assistant Dean for Academic Administration, where she will serve as a liaison to the departments and offices on campus. She will also continue to coordinate such programs as the Wooster Forum and oversee the radio station and the nursery school on behalf of the Provost. In addition, Connie Pattin, formerly Executive Assistant to the Dean of Faculty, will serve as Executive Assistant to the Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement, while Amy Erickson, formerly Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, will become Executive Assistant to the Provost. Dottie Sines will be the administrative coordinator for the Dean for Faculty Development.
“My immediate goal is to work through the details of this new structure to ensure its success,” said Garg. “This year, I will be working with the new deans and staff members to optimize their new roles and to make sure that our academic program has strong leadership and the needed support.”
Other goals include supporting the newly established Center for Diversity and Global Engagement, strengthening the support for chairs of academic departments and programs, and providing stronger teaching and mentoring support for new faculty. In addition to the new initiatives, Garg will be working with the directors of several ongoing programs, such as the Lilly Project and the entrepreneurship program, to ensure their success.
“I am looking forward to putting the new structure in place and helping (President) Grant (Cornwell) follow through on his vision,” said Garg. “It will be a challenging year, but it will also be a very exciting one.”
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