Dear Laurentian Friends,
As the Fall semester begins, I am writing to you to announce some changes to the University’s administrative structure. As you know, Experience St. Lawrence: The Task Force on Institutional Structure, Policy, and Planning has been focused on identifying a range of high-impact initiatives that align with the mission of the University and will enable it to continue to thrive both academically and financially. The Task Force’s administrative working group has finalized recommendations that were presented to the Board of Trustees at their September update meeting yesterday.
The working group recommended that the University adopt a series of administrative structural changes to enable strategic activities and to improve performance and functionality. In consultation with the leadership of the Board of Trustees, the following changes will be effective as of October 1.
We will adopt an enrollment management model allowing a comprehensive approach to the recruitment and retention of students. Florence Hines will assume the role of Vice President for Enrollment Management and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. In addition to her current job duties overseeing the admissions and financial aid operations, she will now have added responsibility for the departments of Athletics and Career Services.
Making this change to the institutional structure immediately gives us the opportunity to take advantage of it for this admissions cycle. Recruited athletes accounted for more than 40 percent of the Fall 2020 incoming class. We believe that aligning the recruiting that our coaches do more closely with the admissions efforts will yield even better results. One of the recommendations of the Task Force’s programmatic working group was a significant focus on enhanced career-related programming to be more attractive to prospective students in the future. Aligning Career Services with the Enrollment Management division will enable us to build this vital program quickly and efficiently.
Bob Durocher has done a tremendous job leading our coaches and student-athletes, and I continue to value his contributions to our senior leadership team. While Bob will report to Florence Hines, he will remain a valued member of senior staff at the University with the title Senior Associate Vice President for Athletics.
Chief Business Officer
A second administrative structural change is to align many of our administrative operations in a chief business officer model. Steve Hietsch, Vice President for Finance and Administration, has demonstrated a transparent and collaborative approach since his arrival in July 2018. Under this new model, he will assume responsibility for facilities operations and the entire information technology division to better align our resources and contain our expenses.
The task force was unanimous in its analysis that our bifurcated model of IT would not serve us well in the future and that we needed to implement a centralized IT structure with a single Chief Information Officer (CIO). We will move forward to select a technology leader in the near future with that individual reporting to Steve. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to look at technology in new and innovative ways and this model will serve St. Lawrence well in the future. Facilities and the capital projects are two of the largest cost centers in our administrative operations. Better alignment between the finance area and facilities will provide opportunities for more efficiencies in our operations.
Dan Seaman has provided steady leadership to our facility operations area and most recently helped lead the successful completion of the Appleton Arena Renovation. He will remain as a member of senior staff, reporting to Steve, with the title of Associate Vice President and Chief Facilities Officer.
Task Force Town Hall
The Experience St. Lawrence Task Force will host a Town Hall for Faculty and Staff to provide a campus update on October 13 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. A St. Lawrence log-in is required and it will be recorded for those that cannot make it.
The Task Force’s analysis and findings will help position St. Lawrence for the next decade and beyond. I am grateful for their commitment to our University. While there are other program opportunities and adaptive structures under consideration, it was critical to implement these structural changes now for maximum impact.