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Academic Affairs Organizational Structure

I am writing to apprise you of some upcoming structural changes within the Academic Affairs division. These changes were prompted initially by staffing needs associated with the implementation of the University Studies curriculum and the planned implementation of the campus’ Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), an essential element of our institutional reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The changes also take into account vacancies in two leadership positions which will be effective January 1, 2013: Dean of University College and Dean of the Graduate School and Research. These factors, along with my own review of the Academic Affairs organizational structure and discussions with individuals within and served by our office, informed decision-making about the envisioned structure. The enhanced structure is designed to:

  • Strengthen our engagement in undergraduate education;
  • Acknowledge the importance of research and scholarly endeavor;
  • Establish more focused and coherent portfolios of responsibility for Academic Affairs personnel;
  • Implement a forward-looking structure that positions the division to respond to current and emerging needs and initiatives, such as the implementation of the University Studies curriculum and our growing engagement in e-learning; and
  • Enhance the overall effectiveness, efficiency and responsiveness of Academic Affairs.

Key features of the enhanced structure are:

  • A repurposing of the current position of Dean of University College to support the establishment of the position of Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Areas reporting to this individual will include: Honors College, Isaac Bear Early College, CTE and Faculty Leadership, International Programs, and the (previously funded but still-unfilled) Director of University Studies and QEP.
  • A mechanism ensuring continuing close communication between the Director of University Studies and QEP, University College, and the First Year Seminar course UNI 101.
  • A modification to the current position of Dean of the Graduate School and Research to support the establishment of the position of Associate Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School. Areas reporting to this individual will include: Office of Research Services, Graduate School, and Technology Development and Transfer. The last of these represents an area that will support the commercialization of intellectual property on our campus and is being established for the remainder of the 2012-13 fiscal year using one-time funds that will support the part-time appointment of an existing UNCW faculty/staff member.
  • A focusing of the current position of Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs to support the establishment of the position of Associate Vice Chancellor for External Programs. Areas reporting to this individual will include: Onslow Extension Program and UNCW Military Liaison, E-Learning, Lifelong Learning, and Cultural Arts.
  • A modification of the areas reporting to the Vice Provost with a focus on core campus infrastructure and resources, specifically Randall Library, Institutional Research and Assessment, and the Accreditation Liaison, and adding a dotted line relationship with IT and Space Planning and Management, both of which will continue to have direct reports to the Provost & VCAA.
  • Retitling of some existing positions consistent with the naming convention in which the term “provost” designates positions with university-wide duties and “vice chancellor” designates positions with division-level duties.

While the basic attributes of the envisioned structure have been established, several details will need to be finalized in coming weeks, and I appreciate the willingness of key stakeholders, including the faculty leadership, to continue to participate in that important activity. I also will note that, in keeping with best practices, we will engage in ongoing assessment of the division’s structure and its efficacy, responding as needed to assessment results.

As we will soon experience two key personnel transitions, we will seek interim leadership for the positions of AVC & Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Assoc. Provost for Research & Dean of the Graduate School. A call for nominations and applications will be distributed soon, and I encourage your participation in that process.

It is my belief that the envisioned structure will yield tangible enhancements in our office’s operations and better position us for current and emerging initiatives. I look forward to working with the campus community to realize the new organization.

  • Denise A. Battles, Ph.D.
  • Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
  • University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • 111 Alderman Hall
  • Wilmington, NC 28403-5900
  • TEL 910-962-3389
  • battlesd@uncw.edu

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