By Meredith Dobes
At least four administrative positions at Roosevelt University were eliminated recently, as a result of a university-led administrative reorganization effort.
“Two positions were eliminated due to a reorganization: 1) University Librarian and 2) Associate Provost,” Executive Vice President and University Provost Doug Knerr said in an email. “In both cases, the responsibilities were assumed by others higher up in the organization.”
Richard Uttich and Tanya Woltman held the positions of university librarian and associate provost, respectively.
Knerr also confirmed that two other administrators’ positions were eliminated: Devon Hall, who held the title of senior academic program and financial analyst and Gretchen Van Natta, who held the title of vice president of human resources.
Searching these names in the faculty directory on the university’s website brings no results, though it is unforgettable that these people were once employed by the university.
The elimination of positions has been attributed to a reorganization of the senior administration team at the university, according to Uttich and Knerr.
Knerr stated that no faculty members have been terminated and that there is no reason to terminate any of them.
In an email titled “Moving Forward in 2014,” sent Jan. 29 to faculty and staff by Knerr, the eliminated positions were not mentioned, but explanation of efforts to reorganize certain administrative offices was provided.
The email stated that the offices of Student Affairs and Academic Services would be consolidated into one office under the guidance of current Associate Provost of Academic Services Sheila Coffin. It also stated that a committee composed of a few faculty members from the library, information technology and various academic programs would be in charge of developing a strategic plan to advance the university’s “campus-based and virtual library services.”
“The consolidation of duties positively impacts all the services that we provide to students,” Coffin said. “With the seamless interaction among all our offices, our hope is to continually improve the services that we provide to our students.”
Coffin cited the Starting Out at Roosevelt program and a collaboration between the Undergraduate Academic Advising Office and biology, chemistry and physical science departments to develop targeted advising for science majors as two of the new services offered to students because of the consolidation.
“Consistent with the vision of the Institutional Strategic Plan as enunciated in President [Charles] Middleton’s State of the University Address, we are continuing to reshape the university,” Knerr stated in the email.
When asked about the elimination of the administrative positions, Assistant Vice President of Public Relations Tom Karow said the university could not comment on personnel issues.
“New faculty hiring season is going on now, and there are interviews across the university every week,” Knerr said.