SUU In View (Alumni Magazine - Fall 2002)
SUU Conserves Resources With Administrative Reorganization
SUU moved to help accommodate the legislative-imposed budget cuts by making significant changes in its Administrative Organization while at the same time, moving toward the goal of growing its student body.
The reorganization announced in April includes the elimination of two administrative positions, the appointment of two new vice presidents, and the consolidation of several responsibilities of others.
"Our current fiscal challenges did not afford us the luxury to maintain business as usual," says University President, Dr. Steven Bennion.
Dr. Stuart Jones ('86 Political Science/Business), after providing splendid leadership as Vice President for Advancement and Regional Services for the past decade, left SUU in June to pursue a similar position at Sonoma State University in northern California.
Dr. Sterling Church ('64 Education) announced last semester that he will be taking early retirement later this year from his role as Vice President of Student Services. Church gave more than 30 years of service to SUU. Among his countless contributions, Church played a pivotal role in the planning of the beautiful Sharwan Smith Center which serves as a central facility for meeting many students' needs. He was the mentor to 30+ student body presidents.
"With two major leadership positions becoming vacant, we determined it would be wise to appoint their replacements in a timely fashion and consolidate other administrative positions, thus allowing us to redeploy scarce resources to meet our most pressing priorities," Bennion explains.
Thus, Georgia Beth Thompson has been appointed the new Vice President of Student Services. A longtime leader at SUU who has served as associate vice president of student services for many years, Thompson is a strong and seasoned advocate for the needs of students. Georgia Beth understands the importance of academic quality and the need to provide students with superb curricular and extra-curricular experiences. As a leader both on campus and off campus (she currently serves on the Cedar City Council), she will bring seasoned leadership to this pivotal assignment, undoubtedly building on the strengths of SUU.
Mark Barton ('96 M.Education) will serve as Vice President for Advancement and Regional Services where he will oversee development, alumni relations, and other programs. Barton's 20+ years of service at the University include most recently his time as assistant vice president of student services. Mark has been directly involved with the recruitment of students since he began at SUU. He and his student service colleagues have helped the University to more than triple enrollment during this time. His passion and excitement about the University is genuine and enthusiastic. First on his agenda, Mark will surely work effectively with a splendid advancement team to help SUU successfully reach our Capital Campaign goal of $42 million.
SUU's new provost took office in mid-July. Dr. Abe Harraf, previously a professor of management and economics and academic dean at Embry Riddle University in Florida, brings impressive experience and expertise to SUU. Harraf strengthened the business administration program at Embry Riddle, tripled its graduate enrollment within a five-year period, and spearheaded the creation of an Executive MBA degree. He led the reaccreditation of such programs as Aeronautical Science, Business and Engineering Physics, and played a strong role in broadening the liberal arts and science offerings at Embry. A seasoned academic leader and administrator, a first-rate teacher and scholar in business management and economics, and a strategic planner, Harraf's open communication, participatory leadership style and financial planning skills will be of major benefit. Born and reared in Iran, Harraf came to America nearly a quarter of a century ago with a bachelor's degree in English. He earned an MBA and a master's in education in Texas before undertaking a doctoral program in economics at Utah State University.
A huge Thank You is due to Dr. Carl Templin, dean of the College of Business and Technology, who served as Interim Provost this past year. Carl has done a tremendous job of representing faculty and leading the complex reaccreditation process.
Dale Orton ('99 M.Education) will execute the responsibilities for financial aid, the registrar's office, admissions and school relations in his new role as Assistant Vice President for Student Services. Dale was the director of admissions before his new appointment.
Dr. Neal Cox, dean of students for the past two years, will also take over as Associate Vice President for Students Services, assuming the additional responsibilities of student housing and discipline.
To complete the shift in responsibilities and to streamline efforts, the University will consolidate the former marketing, recruitment and retention committees into a single enrollment management committee to be chaired by Dean O'Driscoll ('83 Communication and Physical Education). Dean, also the director public relations and marketing, will take on some other additional duties in his expanded role as assistant to the president for university relations.
President Bennion is pleased with the opportunities presented in this reorganization to free up some badly-needed resources for the recruitment and retention of students while being able to take advantage of the talents of several people who have been serving the University for a long time. "We live in a fast changing world," the University leader states. "To meet important and compelling institutional priorities with fewer people will require enhanced effort and cooperation. I am delighted and proud of the existing qualified and dedicated personnel who are willing to step forward to meet these important University challenges."