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Friday, November 14, 2008

Interim President Makes Organization changes

DATE: November 14, 2008

TO: All Faculty and Staff

FROM: Frank L. Ellsworth

RE: Organization changes

As Interim President, part of my charge from the Board of Trustees is to address Art Center’s overall operating budget, with an eye for the next three years, in light of recent enrollment concerns and the general uncertainty in the economy. In approaching this responsibility, I am refocusing our spending priorities as an educational institution. Through careful evaluation of the administrative functions and needs of the College, the following reorganizational changes have been made. Although there will be more, I do want to communicate to you now what has occurred recently.

  1. President’s Office. Four staff members staffed this office prior to my arrival. Upon review, it has been determined that three of these positions are not needed. Sheila Low will continue as Executive Assistant.

  2. Architecture and Planning: As you know the Board of Trustees has placed the Frank Gehry Design Research Complex on indefinite hold. The remaining responsibilities of the Architecture and Planning Office -- classroom modifications and other ongoing facility improvements -- will be outsourced to appropriate vendors with managerial oversight provided by the Facilities department. (Please note that this is standard practice at most colleges and universities.) The build-out of the South Campus “Wind Tunnel” for the Graduate Media Design studios will be completed by January 2009. Other planned projects, such as housing and the Power Plant are still tentative. Our new Ad Hoc Committee on Facilities on campus will review all facilities needs including those already identified to determine costs and priorities. In light of these changes, it has been determined that Art Center no longer needs a dedicated, in-house architectural support staff and we have closed this department. Jennifer Orefice, Administrative Assistant, and Rollin Homer, Designer, will now report to the Facilities Department.

  3. Senior Vice President for IT: Michael Berman is no longer working for us. His position has been eliminated. Our Vice President for IT, Theresa Zix, will report to the CFO. As you know, we have another Director for IT position vacant.

  4. Student Affairs: Previously reporting to the Chief Academic Officer, the Office of Student Affairs under the leadership of the Dean of Students will now report directly to the Interim President. These departments include Enrollment Services, Registrar, Student Affairs, Student Life, and Career Services.

  5. Admissions and Financial Aid. These two functions were reporting to two different offices. The Admissions and Financial Aid offices will now, working closely together, report directly to the Interim President.

  6. Library: Previously reporting to the Chief Technology Officer, the Vice President of the Library will now report directly to the Dean of Academic Affairs.

  7. Gallery and Exhibitions: Previously reporting to the Chief Academic Officer, the Director of the Gallery and Exhibitions will now report directly to the Dean of Academic Affairs.

  8. Alumni Relations: Previously reporting to the Dean of Students, the Office of Alumni Relations will join the Office of Development. Historically, Alumni Relations has always supported Development’s efforts in building effective giving relationships between alumni and the College. A wonderful example is the Legacy Circle, an alumni fund-raising group for student scholarships. Under this new arrangement, Alumni Relations will work closely with members of the Development staff toward our goals of increased scholarship support and other institutional opportunities. The Office of Alumni Relations will continue to work closely with many other departments -- Admissions, Student Life, Career Services and the educational leadership of Art Center -- as part of its commitment to build lifelong relationships between our students and the College. The many resources and benefits currently available to our students and alumni, such as networking through global alumni events and the In Circle web community, will not be affected.

Finally, I want to emphasize that these decisions have been motivated by a concern to realign the operating budget with our core educational commitment to the faculty, programs, environment and community we provide for our students.