Provost Schuiling Provides Update

Monday 19, 2018

Provost Kerri Schuiling updates the campus community on the status of leadership changes in three colleges: Arts and Sciences; Business; and Health Sciences and Professional Studies. She also addresses the SRA process, autism initiative project and procedures for both endowed professorships and inviting international scholars to campus.


1. First, congratulation to Lisa Eckert and our graduate students who participated in our first annual 3 Minute Thesis competition. The students did an outstanding job and it was nice to see how very well attended the presentations were. And, the "Mining Journal" did a front page story about the competition. Thanks to Lisa, the judges and especially our students!

2. The search for the new Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences is progressing. The co-chairs (Susy Ziegler and Mike Rudisill) sent invitations to those volunteering to be on the search committee and I was pleased that everyone who received an invitation accepted. The committee make-up provides good representation across the college. A website for the search will be developed in the near future and the members of the search committee will be listed there.

3. Dean Dave Rayome, COB informs me he plans to return to faculty this upcoming fall 2018. While it is a loss to the administrative team it definitely is a win for our students. I am working with the COB to have an interim dean in place by July 1, 2018 and we will institute a search beginning fall 2018.

4. The College of Health Sciences and Professional Studies has requested to move forward with identifying an interim dean. Although they originally wanted to try a no dean model, it was felt that communication issues arose and therefore it makes sense to reconsider leadership of the college. The Associate Deans and Department Heads met with acting dean, Dale Kapla, and will be recommending an interim for the 2018-2019 academic year.

4. SRA update: Gavin and I continue to have regular meetings with the co chairs of the SRA. The Support Task Force has completed their review of reports on programs and are now in the process of reviewing their placement of programs and developing a final report. The Academic Task Force continues its work of reviewing programs and the co-chairs feel good progress is being made with the goal to have the reviews completed in May. The SRA website is undergoing updates to reflect the changed timelines and provide further process information.

5. The Autism Initiative project headed by associate provost Dale Kapla is also moving along. As part of this project our theatre is putting on an autism-friendly performance of "Tarzan" on April 15th. Autism-friendly performances began with a group in New York City who work with producers of popular plays. Changes are made so that individuals on the Autism spectrum or who have other sensory disorders have an opportunity to attend a play and experience a typical theatre going experience. Volunteers are available to help the attending families and slight changes in the production are made such as having the house lights up a bit more and decreasing the use of strobe lighting. Thus far we have wide interest across the community and because of a donor, the admission for the families attending will be free.

6. The procedure for inviting international scholars to campus has undergone revisions and I received helpful input from the Committee on Internationalization. The final draft will be brought to the president for approval (as it is a university policy) and then will be available on our website.

7. A procedure for endowed professorships has also been drafted and a small committee of those who expressed interest will be reviewing the draft and providing suggestions for revision. It is important to have this in place as our Foundation CEO, Brad Canale says some donors have expressed interest in potentially funding an endowed professorship. Clearly this would be wonderful for our campus!

8. Finally, a reminder about the University Forum that will be held this Wednesday, March 21st in JXJ 1100 from 3-5.

As always, I thank all of you for the work that you do and do so well. I can hardly believe how energizing our campus has been this year and so much of that is because of the work you are doing with our students.