[Vision2020] Building a Tean

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Thu Sep 3 08:42:30 PDT 2015

Courtesy of the UI Argonaut at:


Building a Team

UI sees personnel transitions in upper administration roles

After a year and a half full of position searches and appointment announcements, there is a new cohort of upper administrators running the University of Idaho.

Since UI President Chuck Staben took office March 2014, about half a dozen upper administrators have left their positions at the university.

There are also a number of new faces on the President’s Cabinet, which makes strategic decisions for the university and is mostly comprised of administrators who report directly to the president.

According to Staben, changes in upper administration are expected when a new president arrives on campus.

“(It is) extremely normal,” Staben said of the change in upper administrators. “In fact, I would say probably we’ve gone slower than is typical in a presidential transition.”

Administrators have left their positions for a number of reasons.

Some retire, others step down to take teaching positions and many have left for positions elsewhere.

Staben said much of the change has been evolutionary, with some administrators retiring after long careers at UI.

After four decades at UI, Bruce Pitman retired as dean of students and vice provost for Student Affairs at the end of fall semester 2014.

“He retired, I mean, people only work so long,” Staben said of Pitman’s retirement.

Other administrators have made a personal decision to leave UI, such as Carmen Suarez, the former Chief Diversity Officer and associate vice provost for Student Affairs, who left the university in August, Staben said.

Suarez left UI to become Chief Diversity Officer at Portland State University.

Since Staben has taken office, UI has also made a number of changes to the structure of administration departments.

Earlier this year, Staben announced the university would restructure the division of Finance and Administration and the Budget and Planning office.

The change came after Ron Smith, the former vice president of Finance and Administration, announced he would be stepping down from his position to teach accounting in the College of Business and Economics.

The university restructured the division and the Planning and Budget office into two new divisions — the Division of Finance and the Division of Infrastructure.

After Smith’s announcement, two of his direct reports announced they would be leaving the university.

Tyrone Brooks, the former assistant vice president for Auxiliary Services who reported to Smith, left UI in April to become the vice president for Administrative Services at Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Washington.

Former University Controller Dan Stephens, another direct report to Smith, stepped down in May to become the associate vice chancellor for finance and controller for the University of North Texas System.

New plans
Staben said he is excited to work with his new team and said the new administrators will be able to give a fresh look at how UI does things.

“I think it’s pretty exciting to have assembled a new team,” Staben said.

Staben said these new administrators will help with creating a new strategic plan for the university. He said UI would announce the strategic planning process soon.

“At the moment we have essentially finished our current strategic plan, and we need that new strategic plan,” Staben said, mentioning the plan will include the university’s future strategies, goals and tactics.

At the state and university level, Staben said UI will work on increasing the rate at which high school seniors go on to college.


Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho
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