The University of Akron is revamping some of its senior leadership positions, including the elimination of the title of senior vice president and provost.
The university on Wednesday said instead it will create two job titles, executive vice president/chief academic officer, and executive vice president/chief administrative officer.
Rex Ramsier, Ph.D., will retain the duties of the executive vice president and chief administrative officer and Chand Midha, current senior vice provost for academic affairs and institutional analytics and executive dean of the Graduate School, will be interim executive vice president/chief academic officer. Midha will continue as executive dean of the Graduate School.
Both Ramsier and Midha will remain at their current salaries, the university said in a news release.
The university said it will hire a firm to conduct a national search for an executive vice president/chief academic officer in coordination with the ongoing presidential search. The search will be in accordance with an agreement between the university and the Akron chapter of the American Association of University Professors, the university said.
Neither Midha nor Ramsier will be candidates for the new chief academic officer job, the university said.
“With the progress that has been made on many fronts to address the challenges we face and our presidential search well underway, we now are at a point where we can restart the process of searching for the important position of executive vice president/chief academic officer,” Board of Trustees Chair Joseph M. Gingo said in a statement. “We initiated that process about a year ago, but all constituencies agreed that it was best to put it on hold when there was a change in the University presidency. We believe that the time is now right to start to put in place the administrative framework that will best support our next president.”
Interim University President John Green said he was grateful to Ramsier for performing a dual role.
“His in-depth knowledge of the university and his data-driven decision-making is invaluable, particularly in his exemplary work with the Higher Learning Commission,” Green said in a statement. “I am also appreciative that Dr. Midha has agreed to join us in an interim role. Dr. Midha’s extensive experience , having served as faculty, chair, dean and vice provost, will be invaluable in preparing for the executive vice president/chief academic officer search. I look forward to working with both Dr. Ramsier and Dr. Midha as we continue to advance the university.”
The chief academic officer will be responsible for: leading the university’s academic mission, including coordinating the academic offerings of the colleges, schools and departments; assisting in hiring deans, faculty, staff and chairs/directors and recommending tenure, promotions, salaries and dismissals; managing the Office of Institutional Research; overseeing the Office of Research Administration; supervising the academic portion of planning and budget development; and being the primary liaison to the faculty senate and university council.
The chief administrative officer will manage administrative areas that include: overseeing enrollment management and student services; supervising human resources and labor relations; ensuring accreditation compliance and reporting; managing the administrative portion of planning and budget development; reviewing, investigating and responding to complaints, grievances and appeals; and ensuring compliance with university rules and policies.
The university also said this fall it will be launching searches for the deans of the colleges of business, education, and health professions, and for a director of the School of Nursing. It also will be doing other faculty hiring “in new areas of strategic investment,” it said.
The university recently hired four faculty for the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering and will be naming a new director of the School of Music and School of Dance, Theatre, and Arts Administration, and will be hiring other faculty in upcoming months.