Administrative Moves – July 2, 2021 (Employee email) - The University of Tulsa
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Administrative Moves – July 2, 2021 (Employee email)

Dear colleagues,

I wanted to let you know of some changes to the administrative staff who work alongside you and who help me with my work.

I announced yesterday that Jennifer Bennett, a professor in the Collins College of Business, will serve as the interim chief of staff. I have also asked Jennifer to lead the Transformation Management Office (TMO). Paige Francis, who has so ably led the TMO during the past few months, will return full time to her work as chief information officer (CIO). Paige has done an extraordinary job at the TMO, and I can’t thank her enough for wearing two hats during this important period in the strategic plan. But the duties of CIO are more than enough for one person, and I need Paige to devote her extraordinary energy to those vital responsibilities.

I am pleased that Betsy McCormick has agreed to become the interim dean of the College of Law, effective Aug. 1. Betsy has a distinguished record as a scholar, practitioner and administrator. She is the right person to helm the law school until a permanent dean can be found. I look forward to her leadership as the search continues.

Jennifer Airey, professor of English, has agreed to serve as special assistant to the president. Jennifer is, of course, well known to the TU community. I was introduced to her during the presidential search process, and I know that TU’s Board of Trustees thought highly of her contributions to that effort. Jennifer, along with Interim Provost Dean Smith, will work closely with faculty as we collectively continue to improve our teaching, curriculum and engagement.

I regret to announce that Casey Reed is stepping down as dean of students. In a difficult role, Casey has distinguished herself as a tireless advocate for student success and well-being. Casey has been routinely confronted with some of the most complicated and sensitive issues at TU, and she has been an enthusiastic leader and an empathetic counselor. She will be missed, and I wish her the very best going forward. I intend to start a national search to fill this critical role and, in the meantime, Michael McClendon will be the interim dean of students. Dare Chronister, the associate dean of students, is also leaving TU. I will begin a search for this critical role, and I wish her well.

Finally, the past being prologue, Doreen Griffiths has returned to campus to serve as my executive assistant. Doreen and I worked together at TU when I was on the faculty, and she is returning to Oklahoma from Florida in a reprise of that role. Wendy Buss, who served in a similar role for Interim President Levit, is retiring after a long and praiseworthy career at TU. I know I am not alone in congratulating Wendy for her years of dedication to our university.

Thank you for the advice, comments and constructive criticism I am receiving from you. I look forward to seeing you on campus soon.


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