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Administration division reorganizes staff

A significant reorganization of the Administration Division is under way, Vice President James Van Voorst announced last week.

“I believe the time is right to better align the division to fulfill the strategic plan’s objectives and gain some efficiencies,” he said.

Major changes include:

• Hiring Leonard V. Kogut as associate vice president for administration and Jillian Harrington as director of compliance and risk assessment.

• Separating the Purchasing operation from Accounts Payable/Travel and providing additional managerial support in those areas.

• Realigning the functions in Campus Community Services to other areas of the division. The Office of Telecommunications will merge with Computing Services. Vendor Relations, the DIFR, Student Organization Liaison, BUC$ and the former Campus Community Services fiscal services will be incorporated into the Business Affairs organization.

• Assigning University Police responsibility for the card access program.

• Promoting Sylvia M. Hall from director of human resources to assistant vice president.

Some offices may eventually move, but not immediately, and none of the division’s approximately 875 employees will lose his or her job as a result of the changes.

Kogut, who has experience with all of the operations he will oversee, will take Van Voorst’s former position. Harrington’s job is a new position that will provide a higher level of assurance that the campus is in compliance with regulatory requirements and policies.

The 20 people who work in Telecommunications will join Computing Services’ roughly 90 employees. The new department will likely be renamed to reflect the more contemporary configuration and will be better positioned to take advantage of a variety of changes and advances in these fields.

Mark Reed, associate vice president for computing and educational technology, said he has long advocated merging the two operations.

“Our first goal is to make sure that things stay on course and continue to work,” he said. “I think the campus should look forward to better integrated services in the future and the same high or even higher standards of customer service.”

He noted that Telecommunications has a history of strong creativity and customer service as well as an entrepreneurial spirit. The new larger operation will have even better depth technically than the two units had individually.

Voice communications are increasingly being converted to digital signals that can be routed over the data network, Reed said. Hand-held mobile devices now combine telephone, e-mail, cameras and other technology. The campus needs to find ways to take advantage of these trends.

“It enables more streamlined planning about all these different services that are on the horizon,” he said.

While Telecommunications will merge with Computing Services, Purchasing and Accounts Payable/Travel are being separated to give each area focused leadership. Ken Waskie will now be able to focus his leadership effort on Purchasing, while John Cordi, who had been director of revenue accounting, will add leadership for the Accounts Payable and Travel operation to his responsibilities.

Van Voorst said the arrangement is the best way to deal with the increasing workload and regulatory requirements. The two offices will report to Kogut.

The Campus Community Services organization will change so that the services and support it has provided will be better aligned within the division.

Van Voorst noted that JoAnn Navarro has done an exceptional job as interim associate vice president for Campus Community Services as she divided her time between this area and physical facilities.

“It is a tribute to JoAnn and the others who supported her dual role that during the time she was away, operations continued to run smoothly and many new initiatives took place,” he said.

Navarro will return to her post in Physical Facilities in early March in an expanded role with a title change reflecting increased responsibilities.

The promotion of Sylvia Hall to assistant vice president is a change both to recognize the importance of Human Resources within the organizational structure and to acknowledge her contributions in the role and to the University.

Finally, the University Police will take over the card access program, which will likely expand in coming years. “Card access is about safety and security,” Van Voorst said, “and it makes sense to put that program in the hands of accomplished professionals in that area.”

Van Voorst added: “I plan to continually evaluate how we do our job. While these changes represent just the first step, they are fundamental and important ones.”
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Last Updated: 10/14/08