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An update from Executive Vice President & Provost Stephen Kolison

I am pleased to share with you an update on the work in progress since my initial communication in June. Many of the items required immediate attention and others are to establish our long-term strategies, including:

  1. The search for the Dean of the Shaheen College of Arts & Science (SCAS);
  2. The search for the Dean of the School of Education (SOE);
  3. Addressing some concerns regarding the alignment of instruments used by deans/chairs to measure the performance of faculty with the requirements for promotion and tenure and;
  4. Development of an intellectual vision for the University.

Dean Searches   
With input from faculty, advertisements for SCAS and SOE searches were developed and disseminated nationally through major outlets. The positions were advertised widely and on the UIndy web site at jobs.uindy.edu. The committees will begin reviewing applicants after Sept.15, 2017, with a target date of December to fill both positions.

The members of these search committees, listed below, were directed to accomplish the following:

  • reach out to qualified individuals and encourage them to apply;
  • review applicants and select three finalists for each position; and
  • invite them to campus for interviews; provide feedback on each finalist after the interviews.

I encourage you to bring to the attention of the co-chairs names of individuals that you believe would be suitable candidates for these two positions. We seek a deep pool of highly qualified individuals.

SCAS Search Committee    
Dr. Jyotika Saksena, Co-chair History and Political Science; Dr. John Somers, Co-chair School of Education; Dr. Eduard Arriaga, Languages; Dr. Larry Belcher School of Business; Dr. Joe Burnell, Chemistry; Dr. Brenda Clark, Music; Dr. Rebecca Gilliland, Communication; Marianna Foulkrod, Service Learning; Katherine Fries, Art; Dr. Molly Martin, English; Dr. Amanda Miller, Sociology; Dr. Steve Spicklemire,Physics and Earth Space Science; Dr. Roger Sweets, Biology

SOE Search Committee    
Dr. Janet Boyle, Co-chair CELL; Dr. Travis Miller, Co-chair, SCAS; Dr. Rachael Aming-Attai, SOE; Dr. Lashun Aron, SAL; Dr. Jeff Butts, Wayne Township Schools; Dr. Terrence Harewood, SOE; Dr. Jean Lee, SOE; Dr. Mary Moore, Academic Affairs; Dr. Greta Pennell, SOE; Dr. Angie Ridgway, SOE; Ms. Deb Sachs, SOE

Developing the Intellectual Vision for the University of Indianapolis 
Among the critical questions that we want to answer in developing the intellectual life vision for the University of Indianapolis are:

  • What type of university do we want to become over the next 10 to 15 years?
  • What kinds of academic programs and other learning experiences will we offer to our students going forward?
  • How will we teach and help our students to learn?
  • What degree programs will emerge as our signature programs (programs that we will be known for regionally and nationally)?
  • What other facets of intellectual life at UIndy will become distinctives for which we will be known?
  • What will be the mix of our students, faculty, and staff?

An Academic Master Plan will be developed as a tool for realizing our intellectual life vision — serving as the road map for future strategic planning to help achieve this vision.

During the summer I also worked closely with Dr. Stephanie Kelly, dean of the College of Health Sciences, to identify individuals who would be willing to serve as a steering committee for this important initiative. Those individuals are listed below. As you can imagine, this is a significant undertaking that will require the engagement of the entire University community. We want to employ a process that will be inclusive and provide all stakeholders opportunities to contribute. I encourage you to contribute to conversations that will start this Fall.

To get us started, please see below a draft of a proposed approach for your consideration and feedback.

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Intellectual Life Vision/Academic Master Plan Steering Committee:
Stephanie Kelly, Co-Chair Dean, College of Health Sciences; Ted Frantz, Co-Chair Professor of History and Political Science and Interim Associate Dean, SCAS; Lashun Aron Director of Academic Initiatives, SAL; Tia Bell Assistant Professor, SON; Kathy Boucher Assistant Professor, CABS; Larry Belcher Dean, School of Business; Joe Burnell President, Faculty Senate, Assoc Professor, Chemistry; Michael Cartwright Special Assistant to the President for Mission; Greg Clapper, Professor, Philosophy and Religion; Carla Downing, Instructional Designer; Jodie Ferise, Associate Provost for International Engagement & SG; Kathy Hacker Professor, Music; Norma Hall Dean, School of Nursing; Sean Huddleston, VP and Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer; Jean Lee, Associate Director, STEM3, Associate Professor; Jason Marshall, President, Indianapolis Student Government; Kevin McKelvey, Associate Professor, English; Ellen Miller, Associate Provost, Research and Graduate Programs, Director, Center for Aging; Travis Miller, Interim Dean, Shaheen College of Arts and Sciences; Chris Moore, Chair, Anthropology, Associate Professor; Mary Moore, Associate VP for Accreditation; Colleen Mulholland, Interim Dean, School of Education; Jennifer Rang, Facility Operations and Compliance Coordinator; José Sánchez, Director of Engineering, Associate Professor; Laura Santurri, Director of Doctor of Health Science; Anita Thomas Dean, College of Applied Behavioral Sciences; Kory Vitangeli, VP for Student and Campus Affairs

Promotion and Tenure   
Promotion and tenure were among several topics discussed during listening visits across the University. Specifically, I saw a need to align the benchmarks used by deans/chairs to measure faculty performance with the requirements for promotion and tenure. As a result, I have asked Dr. Stephen Nawrocki to assist me in carrying out the following:

  1. Partnering with deans/chairs across campus to compile a list of the key variables for which faculty are evaluated annually within each unit, school or department;
  2. Examining the alignment between these evaluation items and the expectations for which promotion and tenure decisions are based and;
  3. Implementing improvements to campus evaluation processes that complement promotion and tenure decisions.

The goal is to better define the requirements and expectations for success as a faculty member at UIndy. I am grateful to Dr. Nawrocki for his willingness to assist with this important work.

I have been impressed with the genuineness and generosity in sharing your thoughts and ideas during my first few months as your Provost and look forward to your continued willingness to contribute and participate in the conversations, development and implementation of the activities and strategies that will shape the future of our University.

With regards, Stephen H. Kolison Jr., Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Provost/Professor of Biology