Welcome Back and Academic Affairs Updates
- Wednesday, August 24th, 2022
Welcome to fall semester 2022. I hope you had an outstanding summer that included time to rest, reflect, and re-energize. The academic year promises to bring additional change, new and exciting opportunities, and challenges. I look forward to renewing our collaborative efforts to ensure the success of our students and one another while continuing to make certain WKU remains competitive in the ever-changing landscape of higher education. Below please find some updates meant to launch the new academic year.
Academic Affairs Hires: The Office of the Provost completed a search for the Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Equity and the Title IX Coordinator. I am Happy to announce that Ms. Ena Demir was the selected candidate and began working on WKU’s campus on July 1st. Ms. Demir is a graduate of WKU and the University of Kentucky, College of Law. She has 8 years of experience practicing law with emphasis in employment and higher education law. I am also pleased to announce that as of August 1st the new faculty ombudsperson is Ms. Michelle Jones from the Department of Mathematics.
Student Success at the Course Level: Instruction plays a critical role in student success. I want to thank the faculty who engaged in the Gateway program this summer, where they collectively supported one another to begin revising Math and English courses to enhance student engagement and success. Additionally, the Inclusive Teaching Academy, the first of its kind in Kentucky, was awarded the cultural competency credential certification by Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education. The first cohort of thirteen faculty completed the Academy in May 2022. Twenty-two faculty have taken advantage of the redesigned Online Teaching Course, a five-week asynchronous online course designed for faculty new to the online teaching experience or need a refresher of the fundamentals of teaching online.
Provost Offices Organizational Changes: Over the last eight months the Office of the Provost engaged in a review and ultimately a reorganization of DELO in response to two issues: 1) DELO being moved from an independent revenue generating unit to a service unit that reports to the provost and the colleges in the new RAMP budget model and 2) Dr. Beth Laves, leaving her Associate Vice President of DELO position and moving to role of Assistant Provost/Director for Accreditation and Academic Programs. In this role, Dr. Laves will be the point person for all curriculum processes, including being responsible for curriculum process management, CPE program reporting, and for representing the university as the SACSCOC liaison.
During the DELO review process, it became clear that DELO needed a more cohesive working relationship with the Provost’s Office. To accomplish this greater connection between DELO and the Provost’s Office and to align similar functions so that those performing the work would have the programmatic and technical support systems they need to accomplish their important tasks, supervision of the various DELO areas was incorporated into the Provost’s Office. The moving of supervisory responsibility caused an expansion of the duties assigned to Dr. Rob Hale, Dr. Marko Dumančić and Ms. Jessica Gilland effective immediately.
Dr. Amber Scott Belt and Ms. Jessica Gilland also received an expansion of duties as a result of Dr. Ladonna Hunton’s retirement. Dr. Scott Belt will be responsible for such duties as administration and oversight of Ellucian (Banner HR) workflows relating to faculty, oversight of budget development as it relates to labor planning, developing, and maintaining an equitable, market competitive faculty compensation model and advising on matters of non-curriculum academic policy. Ms. Gilland duties now include budget development and management not related to labor planning, part-time Faculty Tuition Waivers, and faculty effort associated with grant compensation. Finally, Ms. Tonya Johnson is responsible for managing calendars for both the Provost and Assoc Provost and organizes Provost Office special events. I have attached an organizational chart with the areas supervised by each person in the Provost’s Office for your future reference.
Lastly, I want to thank all of you for your help and understanding as I progressed into the provost position and for your willingness to share your point of view and provide me with the opportunity to understand the people and culture of WKU. I know that what makes WKU special is its people and their commitment to our mission and our students. Your work in engaging and mentoring students in and outside the classroom, your significant accomplishments in research, scholarship and creative activity, and your impactful work that enhances the university and the Bowling Green community are inspiring. As I start my second year, I will continue to listen, learn, and engage with you, the students, and the community as we encounter the opportunities and challenges of a new year together.
Robert "Bud" Fischer
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs