Newly renamed provost position yet to be filled

In the wake of the departure of a prominent Portland State vice provost, the Office of Academic Affairs has re-evaluated and re-titled the position and its duties while administrators hire a new individual.

Mike Driscoll, who resigned earlier this month to become provost at the University of Alaska Anchorage, held the position of vice provost for Academic Personnel and Budget. With his departure, the Office of Academic Affairs decided to change his previously held title from Academic Personnel and Budget to Academic Administration and Planning in order to more explicitly state what the duties of the position are.

Donna Bergh, special assistant to the provost, said that the job, while not technically new, still has some changes in it from the position Driscoll held.

“It’s the same position with some emphasis-shifting,” she said.

The shift will cause the re-evaluated position to place a lesser importance on budget issues and more of an emphasis on planning. Bergh said the reason for the shift is that the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, Roy Koch, likes to be more hands on with the budget aspect of the position. Bergh said this is not unusual.

“Depending on the strength of the provost, the duties of the vice provosts will shift,” she said. “It’s a real changing position.”

Terrel Rhodes, vice provost for curriculum and undergraduate studies, said that this is not a new position, only a title change. Rhodes said that the change in title more accurately reflects the duties of the position.

“The new title reflects what has evolved in the position over time,” he said.

The previous position of vice provost for Academic Administration and Planning was created in 2000 under the watch of Mary Kay Tetreault, the provost and vice president for academic affairs at the time, according to Rhodes.

“She wanted to have somebody to focus on budget and personnel issues,” Rhodes said.

The duties of this position have always existed in one form or another, according to Rhodes. Michael Reardon, the previous provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, had many of the responsibilities before the position technically existed.

The duties were not officially lumped together until 2000, when Dick Pratt was given the then newly created vice provost for Academic Personnel and Budget position. Pratt stayed on for two years until 2002, when Mike Driscoll took over.

The position as it exists now focuses on the categories of academic planning, budget coordination and personnel administration. The main responsibilities of the position include working with the provost to establish academic priorities, working with Human Resources to develop academic personnel policies and procedures and helping to develop the annual budget for the institution.

The new position description is a direct evolution from a less comprehensive description when Mike Driscoll took over the position in 2002.

The deadline for applications was May 12 and six applicants applied from across the university. There will be a screening committee meeting on May 30 where all the applicants will be reviewed in depth. Koch will individually interview the top few applicants.

The position will be filled seven to 10 days after the screening committee meeting and the individual hired will start as soon as possible, with consideration of the availability of the applicant.

While the number of applicants might seem low, Bergh said, the turnout of applicants has been typical among similar searches.

“The qualifications are pretty high,” she said.

The search is being performed internally because the position requires a working knowledge of the university, according to Bergh.

“You’re going to lose a year bringing in someone from the outside,” she said.