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Sent July 25, 2013

Colleagues,

I am writing to share with you a new organizational structure in the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs which also involves reassignments of some functions to the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration. 

To streamline the operation of the Provost’s Office, consolidate academic affairs programs, enhance our research support services and provide the critical infrastructure for university academic planning, budget and evaluation, a number of changes will be made effective August 1, 2013. Below are the key organizational changes that serve to realign administrative responsibilities within the Provost’s area and position us all to achieve greater academic and institutional success.  

Academic Affairs

The Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs will expand its role through the consolidation of additional educational program offerings under one functional area and through the following initiatives:

  • Transfer the Graduate School to Academic Affairs – this transfer consolidates educational program oversight with the Academic Affairs function.  The Graduate School will continue to exist as a recognized entity in the Academic Affairs structure under the supervision of a Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School. This structural change aligns the Graduate School with the decanal oversight now in place for Undergraduate Education within the Academic Affairs structure.
  • Establish the Office of the Vice Provost for Enrollment – this office will oversee units related to student enrollment including Undergraduate Admissions, Graduate Enrollment Management Services, Student Response Center, Student Accounts, Financial Aid, Registrar, student data analysis and the HUB support office.
  • Create an Office of Educational Innovation-  this unit will create a “think tank” for pedagogical innovation and the introduction of new forms of educational delivery as we imagine new curricular strategy as called for in the Realizing UB2020 plan. To accomplish this, the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) will move from Faculty Affairs to the Office of Educational Innovation, bolstering the linkage between the university curriculum development processes and our current university expertise in the TLC in pedagogical delivery.  This office also will provide greater oversight, guidance and direction to the teaching/learning assessment processes conducted in academic units across the university which will be a major area of focus in the upcoming Middle States accreditation review.  

Office of Strategic Initiatives

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development is in the process of being reorganized to create several new functional areas including a new Office of Research Advancement and Strategic Initiatives. This office will be the new home for the Strategic Initiatives effort and will oversee programs and initiatives that stimulate the expansion of research funding and scholarship. The portfolio of the current Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives will become part of the portfolio of the Associate Vice President for Research Advancement and Strategic Initiatives and will expand to include review of the effectiveness of existing and new mechanisms for research advancement. These mechanisms include those undertaken by university level research centers/institutes. 

Research Institute on Addictions

The Research Institute on Addictions will report through the VPRED. This will be consistent with the requirement that all multi-decanal university centers and institutes report through the VPRED structure. This is part of a larger effort to integrate RIA as a UB research institute.

Center for Computational Research  

The Center for Computational Research (CCR) will report to the VPRED as part of a new Office of Research Support Services and Infrastructure.

Equity and Inclusion

A new Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion will be responsible for leading, planning and coordinating the university’s efforts to establish best practices required to build a culture of equity and inclusion across the university.  Following several years of review and analysis of data, policies and practices related to faculty success, the university will reaffirm the inextricable link between excellence, equity and inclusion through the creation of this position.   The search to fill this position will commence this summer.

Offices of Capital Planning and Resource Planning

To support the development of a robust, University-wide integrated financial and capital planning development process under the leadership of the Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Office of Capital Planning and staff associated with the Office of Resource Planning will be transferred from Academic Planning and Budget (Office of the Provost) to the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration.  

Academic Planning, Budget and Evaluation

In this new organizational structure, the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Planning, Budget and Evaluation continues to provide direct support to the provost in all aspects of academic planning.  In this capacity, the Vice Provost works closely with the provost, deans and other vice provosts in the development and execution of strategies to accomplish institutional priorities, academic hiring plans, budgets, revenue goals, and space needs.  The Vice Provost for Academic Planning, Budget and Evaluation oversees institutional analysis and the assessment of academic unit progress toward achieving institutional and revenue goals.  To that end, the following areas have been added to the portfolio of the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Planning, Budget and Evaluation:           

  • Evaluation –the University is committed to a more comprehensive approach to institutional evaluation.  The assessment of unit and institutional performance will be at the heart of planning, program development and resource allocation for all units at UB.  As a result, I have expanded the scope of the office to include this function.  The Vice Provost for Academic Planning, Budget and Evaluation will propose and implement a continuous process for the evaluation of institutional performance. 
  • Accreditation - this office will coordinate the collection and dissemination of information about university and unit performance on key metrics that will be used by units and senior management to build a culture of accountability and excellence.   This office also will coordinate the institution’s response to Middle States accreditation requirements and other unit-based accreditation needs as required.  As a result of this expanded role, the Director of Accreditation will report to the Vice Provost for Academic Planning, Budget and Evaluation.
  • Strategic Academic Projects - the Vice Provost for Academic Planning, Budget and Evaluation will provide executive level support to the Provost in coordinating new and emerging opportunities that are driven principally by strategic academic considerations that cut across academic and other university units.  

I am confident that these modifications will strengthen our organization and allow UB to achieve the next level of prominence. 

Best,

 

Charles F. Zukoski
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs