|UND President's Cabinet changing|
University of North Dakota President Robert Kelley has announced changes that will affect his cabinet.
The first is that Greg Weisenstein, provost and vice president for academic affairs, will be the number two administrator on campus.
"We are introducing a true provost model in which the Provost is the first among equals in the president's cabinet," said Kelley. What that means is that the Provost will be in charge of the campus when the president is away. The vice presidents will continue to report to Kelley, and will continue to serve on the president's cabinet.
"Greg is an excellent administrator and has a tremendous experience base that we can draw from," said Kelley.
Kelley also announced that Robert Gallager, vice president for finance and operations, will retire at the end of December.
"This is a great loss to us and to me personally. Bob has done an outstanding job, not only in managing the finance and operations division, but also in helping the University prepare for the future. His innovative approaches to securing funding for some of our building projects, for example, have been critical to their success," said Kelley. "We will miss Bob immensely, but we will wish him the very best in retirement.
When former President Kupchella announced in January 2007 that he planned to retire in January 2008, Gallager had indicated to Kupchella that he had planned to retire in December of this year. That would have given Gallager one full year with the new president. Kupchella stayed on until the end of June 2008 at the request of the State Board of Higher Education. Meanwhile, Gallager and his wife had already begun building a retirement house in his home state of South Carolina. That house is now completed.
Kelley said he would soon begin a search for Gallager's replacement. He will also soon begin a search for a new vice president for research and economic development. Dr. Gary Johnson, who has filled that position in an interim basis, has announced his intention to retire at the end of the academic year.
Kelley said he has also decided to eliminate the position of vice president for general administration created last year. Under that position, Athletics and the Affirmative Action Office reported to Phil Harmeson. One of Kelley's first acts as president was to bring Athletics directly under his supervision. The Affirmative Action Office will also report directly to the president.
"This decision is about creating the best cabinet structure for the future of the University," said Kelley. "My charge is to create the best governance structure that will help the University reach its goals, and that means making sure that the leadership positions have logical portfolios. As I have said before, some of the cabinet positions have very heavy portfolios; some are lighter. My goal is to create a more balanced cabinet."
Harmeson, a graduate of the UND School of Law, will return to UND's College of Business and Public Administration, where he holds a tenured appointment as associate professor.
Kelley said he will continue to assess the overall cabinet.