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Reinvestment and Restructuring


Scott GordonWelcome to a new academic year! I am excited to serve as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs here at Eastern Washington University. Since being selected as your Provost, I have received significant input both from the email inquiry I sent out in the spring as well as numerous meetings and conversations I have had since starting here on July 1. I deeply appreciate the honest feedback and excellent ideas from faculty and staff. Thank you all.

Over the past weeks, I analyzed the information I received to develop a plan for reorganization and reinvestment in Academic Affairs. The goal is to provide a high-functioning structure that will effectively serve our faculty, staff, and students. Reorganization will occur in stages and may be modified based on continuing analysis, feedback, and staffing needs.

This page provides an overview of the reorganization and reinvestment, explains the reasoning behind the reorganization, and showcases the new organizational structure.

Scott Gordon

Why Reinvest?

The main message I received over the past months is that Academic Affairs has been operating with a skeletal staff that cannot meet the needs of a large and complex organization. As a result, you have been frustrated by delays in day-to-day decision-making, lack of innovation and entrepreneurial flexibility, and decreased self-support revenue.

Reinvestment and restructuring in Academic Affairs will provide faculty, staff, and students with better service and greater efficiency. The new administrative structure will support timely and data-driven decision-making, enhance opportunities for a diversity of faculty, staff, and students, and promote innovation that will strengthen the academic mission of Eastern Washington University.

The bulk of the restructuring will be completed within the existing budget of the Office of Academic Affairs. However, two administrative positions will be added to the Provost’s office. In addition, the University will invest in a number of new faculty positions. I will work with the Deans to assist them in determining the allocation of new faculty lines to meet pressing needs and enrollment growth.

Why Restructure?

Increase Effectiveness of Academic Programs

A major role of the Provost’s Office is to provide timely responses to requests for information and to establish predictable and collaborative decision-making processes. The new organizational structure enhances support of the Faculty Organization and numerous academic committees and councils. With reinvestment, the Provost’s Office will also be able to provide consistent program and policy review to inform decisions and ensure health and growth of academic programs.

Promote Teaching and Learning

Across the nation, economic pressures on colleges and universities have caused a decline in the services and support of faculty and students. With strong commitment to teaching and to students, we are designating resources for professional development and support for student learning. The new campuswide advising model, degree-planning tools for students and advisors, and the inaugural year of the Faculty Commons highlight this renewed commitment.

Support the Graduation Project

The Graduation Project is a critical initiative for EWU that requires support and leadership in Academic Affairs. Academic advising changes are under way, and assessment strategies are being formulated to connect learning outcomes and program design. FYE and Critical Foundations, still being developed, require coordination and support.

Align Academic Functions

Improving effectiveness and efficiency in our administrative offices will align resources with priorities and free up resources critical to our academic mission. The new Academic Affairs structure brings together units with similar duties and responsibilities and increases staffing capacity. The reinvestment will help keep approval processes and administrative functions running consistently and facilitate collaborations with offices on each of our campuses.

Expand Academic Partnerships/Collaborations

We are committed to expanding opportunities for EWU to contribute to our communities and collaborate with other institutions. The new Academic Affairs structure improves support of faculty efforts through grants, innovative program delivery, and outreach programs.

Develop and Strengthen Self-Support Programs

Academic Affairs has a responsibility to ensure that we deliver high-quality academic programs and provide smooth pathways to degree completion. By cultivating new revenue through self-support activities, we can enhance opportunities for faculty and support growth across campus.

Align with University Vision, Mission, and Goals

My goal is to ensure that the Provost’s Office is a place that fosters ideas, cultivates learning opportunities that serve a diversity of students, and promotes civil dialogue and transparent planning processes. At the heart of this reinvestment is a commitment to high quality academic programs, support for teaching and academic research, and graduation of our students.

Proposed Academic Affairs Reorganization

Subject to reviews/approvals as specified in University Policy 301-01 (click image for larger view - updated February 2018)

ACADEMIC AFFAIRS REORGANIZATION Subject to reviews/approvals as specified in University Policy 301-01 Updated Jan. 2017

Summary of Academic Affairs Restructure

Executive Advisor to the Provost

This position supports the Provost in implementation of structural changes by ensuring compliance with governance rules and state regulations.

Academic Deans

Deans manage their resources, expand and refine program offerings as needed to meet student needs, and champion the intellectual pursuits of their faculty.

Vice Provost for Academic Administration

This position supports deans and department chairs in hiring processes, ensures compliance with contract stipulations, and coordinates budgeting processes and oversight of expenditures and allocations.

Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Academic Policy and Planning

Working with deans and chairs to ensure clear pathways to degree completion, this position handles program and course approval as well as policy development and implementation. This individual also works with advisors regarding changes in academic programs and policies.

Associate Provost for Outreach and Engagement

This position coordinates outreach efforts through innovation in the delivery and location of academic offerings. Units under this position share ideas and look for connections that align with our mission and strengthen partnership with external communities.

Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness

This position supports university-wide and program-specific accreditation, assessment of academic offerings, and assists with efficient and effective academic planning and resource usage.

Director of Graduate Studies

This director provides administrative support for graduate programs and coordinates a unified approach for marketing purposes and enrollment growth.

In Conclusion

I appreciate so much the honest and detailed feedback I have received from faculty and staff over the past weeks. This reinvestment plan responds to many of the issues that you raised and reflects a vision that we all have for the future of EWU and our students.

Thank you!

© 2018 Eastern Washington University
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