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Board approves changes at senior admin level

The evolution of Memorial University's senior administrative structure continues, with changes to the roles and responsibilities of some senior academic and student affairs positions.

These alterations, following a series of other governance and senior administrative structural changes approved by the Board of Regents in September, are expected to make the administrative structure of the university more responsive to increasing numbers of programs, faculty and staff, and the further evolution of this multi-campus institution.

"This reorganization reflects the recent growth of our university, its increased breadth of operation, and the centrality of students in our academic mission," said Dr. David Wardlaw, provost and vice-president (academic).

At its meeting Oct. 20, the Board of Regents approved the following changes:

Faculty Affairs
One of the existing associate vice-president (academic) (AVPA) positions has been repurposed and retitled to become an AVPA (faculty affairs).

The AVPA (faculty affairs) will provide leadership, innovation, and stewardship in all areas pertaining to academic staff, including faculty relations, academic and professional development for faculty, recruitment and retention and performance management. A national search will be conducted to fill the new position of AVPA for faculty affairs. Dr. Grant Gardner will complete his term as associate vice-president (academic) on Oct. 31, 2012.

Planning, Priorities and Programs
The second AVPA position has been retitled and repurposed to become an AVPA (planning, priorities and programs). The AVPA (planning, priorities and programs) will provide leadership, vision, and co-ordination in the area of strategic academic planning and implementation and program innovation and development. The board approved the renewal of Dr. Doreen Neville to a second five-year term and her appointment to the new portfolio of AVPA (planning, priorities and programs).

Students and Undergraduate Affairs
Finally, the Board approved creation of a deputy provost (students) and AVPA (undergraduate studies) position. This position reports to the provost and vice-president (academic). Primary responsibilities of the position are to create and maintain integrated, effective, pan-university academic and non-academic support services for students, and simultaneously to provide leadership and co-ordination in improving the student academic learning experience and student academic success.

The current acting dean of student affairs and services, Dr. Rob Shea, will assume the role of acting deputy provost (students) and AVPA (undergraduate studies) until such time as a national search is completed for the first incumbent of this new portfolio. The Board simultaneously approved elimination of the position of dean of student affairs and services.

Unit realignment to come
Associated with the restructuring of the AVPA roles and creation of the deputy provost-AVPA role will be a realignment of unit reports to the Provost's Office. Dr. Grant Gardner will assist in the transition to the new reporting structure, which is expected to be completed by the end of December. Analysis and consultation aimed at creating an operationally effective reporting structure are ongoing.