Task Force Report and Recommendations: Office of Academic Administration, University of Minnesota System

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dear Colleagues,

The Task Force I charged with reviewing the Office for Academic Administration, University of Minnesota System, and developing recommendations for its organization after Senior Vice President Robert J. Jones assumes the presidency of the University at Albany, State University of New York, has completed its report. I have reviewed and accepted their recommendations. You can find the task force report here (PDF).

Senior Vice President Robert J. Jones’s departure at the end of the year poses both a challenge and an opportunity for the University of Minnesota. He led a vast system-wide academic portfolio of units, departments, centers, and statewide campuses and resources. With more than 30 years at the University and deep community ties, Dr. Jones was uniquely qualified to lead this office. He brought a much-needed system focus to the University and provided critical leadership to advance public engagement, an urban agenda, and the U’s international programs and global footprint.

Consistent with the task force recommendations and my discussions with Senior Vice President Jones, I have decided to eliminate the Office for Academic Administration and to realign the functions and reporting lines from that office with the administrative unit or college that most closely shares their mission and work. This realignment would neither be successful nor contemplated without the extraordinary foundation Senior Vice President Jones has laid and the culture of “system-ness” he developed and nurtured throughout the University.

The reporting lines will transition on January 1, 2013, and I have asked Vice President Richard Pfutzenreuter to work with each unit to transition appropriate resources by the end of the fiscal year.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Senior Vice President Jones again for his outstanding leadership and enormous contributions to the University. He has been an invaluable member of my senior leadership team, and his contributions to the University of Minnesota over the past three decades have had a major impact on higher education and the citizens across our state and communities. The SUNY system is fortunate to bring him on board as president of the University at Albany.


Eric W. Kaler