Task Force to Assess the Functions of the Office of Academic Administration, University of Minnesota System

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dear Colleagues,

As you know, Senior Vice President Robert Jones will be the new president of the University at Albany. His departure at the end of the year requires that we assess the functions within the Office of Academic Administration, University of Minnesota System, and determine their optimal alignment and organization.

To that end, I have appointed a task force to review the office's portfolio and make a recommendation to me regarding the organization of the functions, including reporting lines, and assessing the responsibilities of the senior vice president.

My goals are to ensure our organizational structure advances our academic, research, and outreach missions and to use this transition to achieve greater operational and administrative efficiency. I have asked the task force to consult with leaders within the Office of Academic Administration and other key stakeholders throughout the University. I expect they will hear a wide variety of opinions. Their job will be to listen, ask questions, and synthesize our collective experience in a way that best advances the mission of the University.

The Task Force will be chaired by Chief of Staff Amy Phenix and will include UMD Chancellor Lendley Black, Chief Financial Officer Richard Pfutzenreuter, and Vice President for Research Tim Mulcahy, with support from the Office of Human Resources. I expect their recommendations by October 22.

This timeline is short, and some decisions had to be made even more quickly. As you know, we are in the final stages of a search for a vice president for our Office for Equity and Diversity. To keep that search on track and attract the best candidates, I have decided that this position will report directly to me. I remain confident that we will have finalists on campus yet this fall.

Thank you in advance for your thoughtful input into this important process.


Eric W. Kaler