From the Provost — January 16, 2019

Organizational changes in the Office of Academic Affairs

Dear Colleagues,

Today, I write to share a few key decisions that I have made regarding organizational changes in the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA). These changes are effective February 1, 2019.

Randy Smith, in his role as vice provost for academic programs, will continue to serve as OAA’s lead for a number of university-wide strategic programs. These programs include the General Education revision, curricular assessment, the Alliance for the American Dream initiative, and the Sesquicentennial. To assist Randy in his role, we welcome Andrew Martin, professor of sociology, as associate vice provost. In addition, Alan Kalish joins OAA to work with Randy as assistant vice provost.

Kay Wolf will assume the position of senior vice provost. In her new role, Kay will work closely with me in support of our academic leadership. Among her day-to-day responsibilities, she will oversee OAA’s strategic priorities and, importantly, be in regular contact with deans and other unit leaders to work with them on their priorities, interface on their budget strategies and monitor progress towards goals. In addition, Kay will continue her work on academic leadership to support our department chairs and other academic unit leaders. Kris Devine, vice president of operations and deputy chief financial officer, and Gretchen Gombos, OAA’s finance director, will provide support for our leadership team.

Ryan Schmiesing will become vice provost for outreach and engagement. In this role, Ryan will lead the university’s broad outreach and engagement priorities, working closely with many partners in colleges and units to advance their outreach and engagement strategic initiatives. We thank Stephen Myers for his energy and commitment serving as associate vice provost for outreach and engagement. Stephen will transition to other responsibilities in OAA during the Spring Semester.

Ryan will continue as liaison to the regional campuses to provide leadership in representing their priorities in academic affairs. Further, he will serve as OAA’s liaison to the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Sustainability Institute.

Over the next months, we will appoint a faculty colleague to serve as vice provost for academic policy and faculty resources and identify a new OAA director of communications.

Please join me in congratulating and thanking our colleagues for agreeing to assume these additional responsibilities. With their commitment and expertise, we look forward to expanding our horizons in academic leadership and strengthening our support for our academic mission and our faculty, students and staff.


Bruce A. McPheron, PhD
Executive Vice President and Provost