Academic Affairs

Text: Provost's Perspectives, An Update from Provost Sheerer

April 10, 2018                                       NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE

Dear Colleagues,

Our spring break has ended, and here we go flying into the remainder of the semester toward Commencement. How does a year go so fast? I know how busy everyone is, and I sincerely thank you for all of your effort and commitment. One faculty member told me the other day he had written 25 reference letters for students! Wow! No small amount of time required! 

Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs

Our search has been completed, and the Chancellor announced today that Miles Lackey has been appointed Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs.  Miles is a North Carolina native whose experience in higher education, private industry and political affairs includes work with Auburn University, Iowa State University, UNC Chapel Hill and the UNC System.  He will join the Seahawk family on April 30.

Optimized Scheduling

We are very aware that our optimized scheduling effort has caused department chairs a lot of grief.  As is often the case with such changes, problems emerged that we weren’t expecting.

However, let me state clearly that this process was asked for by many people on our campus because of complaints that our large classrooms were not being efficiently scheduled.  Rich Ogle and I have worked with the Registrar to make further adjustments so as to get closer to a system that works better for everyone.  For the spring schedule, we will need to go in a different direction with the software, etc.  We ask for your patience as we work to improve the situation.

Faculty Feedback

Over the last two months, I have had the opportunity to meet with faculty and their respective deans and associate deans across a number of departments. These conversations have provided a lot of information on challenges, problems and issues facing faculty and staff.

Please know that I take your feedback seriously and have begun to address things like Chrome River, work overloads and optimized scheduling. Overall, I think a general point that I heard was that end users should be more involved in the changing of processes on our campus. And I couldn’t agree more.

We can expect that new technologies will continue to bring change, but we will certainly try to work more closely with all of you as such changes occur.

Reviewing Policies Relating to Faculty Hiring and Benefits

There have been a number of inquiries about the status of lecturers and part-time faculty on campus. People have raised such questions as voting rights in departments, the lack of health benefits to certain faculty who have been here for an extended period of time, and 1-year and 3-year contracts.

To address these questions and others, I have asked Rich Ogle to pull together a small task force, which will include leadership from Faculty Senate, to begin to review existing policies and recommend some possible changes.

We will work to get this group together and report on our progress by the end of the semester.

Interim Positions Available

As many of you are aware, Dr. Ron Vetter will be returning to his faculty position in the Department of Computer Science. He will leave his current administrative job on June 30, 2018.

Please look for an upcoming announcement for two separate positions: Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Provost for Research. We have divided Ron’s current position into the above two positions and will be sending out a call for applications for them. Searches for the permanent people will most likely begin in the fall of 2018. Therefore, the interim positions will probably go from May – December of 2018.

It has been a busy spring!


Marilyn Sheerer signature

Marilyn Sheerer
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

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