Georgetown has several academic goals that propel the provost’s office activities. One is to increase the impact of research activity at the university, which is compatible with increasing research experiences for undergraduate and graduate students and with strengthening graduate programs. Another is to enhance the academic programs by new forms of collaboration between the provost’s office and other operating units at the University. Finally, we are striving to use program and administrative data at the University to guide decisions. During the fall I observed one other problem, an unnecessary gulf between faculty and academic administrators. While there are always communication challenges between the two groups, I found that to achieve the goals above special attention to the issue was warranted.
To address these issues I am reorganizing the provost’s office. To improve communication with faculty and to enhance opportunities for faculty to gain administrative experience, I am creating three new faculty-based positions – Vice-Provost Faculty, Vice-Provost Education, and Vice-Provost Research. The Vice-Provost Research will act to implement changes that we are now mounting to make it easier for faculty to mount important research projects. The Vice-Provost Education will focus on both undergraduate and graduate programs, with a special attention to integrating the two parts of the educational mission of Georgetown, fostering new interdisciplinary programs, and guiding evaluation of existing programs. The Vice-Provost Faculty will lead efforts to aid schools in recruiting world-class scholars and teachers, with special attention to foster joint appointments with other campuses and other institutions.
These vice-provost positions will be held by full professors from one of the schools at Georgetown. The positions will be .75 fractional appointments, with teaching and research activities continuing for the .25 complementary time. At most a vice-provost will complete two three-year terms. The vice-provosts will be assisted by full-time administrative staff. I hope that over the years these positions will provide administrative experience and skills for senior faculty who aspire to leadership positions in the university. By reflecting the views of the faculty more directly at the provost’s decision table, I hope to provide better leadership to the campus.
To increase the efficiency of the university, two other changes will be made. First, we will unite the financial data with the analysis of students’, faculty’s, courses’ performance data. A new position, Vice-President For Finance and Program Analytics, will oversee both the Main Campus Finance Office as well as the Office of Assessment and Decision Support (OADS). By integrating cost data and program data, we hope to provide schools will better intelligence about the efficiency of their programs. By continuously analyzing the data, we seek to improve the service the provost’s office provides to deans, program directors, faculty, and students. Second, we will appoint a chief operating officer (COO) for the main campus who will report jointly to me and Chris Augostini, the university COO. This new position will assure smooth integration of the university services’ units and the main campus academic units.
I am very conscious of minimizing the administrative costs of the university and will attempt to make other changes to minimize the net costs of these decisions. I’m confident, however, that the new organization can give Georgetown a more effective provost’s office and help it achieve its research and educational aspirations.