Provost update (June 29, 2017)


By Rex Ramsier, provost and senior vice president

June 29, 2017

Based on a suggestion by the University Council Communication Committee, I have decided to provide regular updates to the colleges so that all faculty, Chairs/Directors and Deans have the same information on matters of importance to our academic mission. If anyone has other areas that I might address in future communications, please email them to for consideration. 

College Budgets

College operating budgets for next fiscal year (FY18; July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018) will be the same as FY17 – no cuts. Since enrollment is projected to be down overall by about 5%, some units may generate fewer course fees, but the main funding from the UA general fund will stay the same. 

In addition, for Summer 2017 we instituted a new model for allocating funds for summer teaching. Deans were asked to formulate a schedule of classes which made the most sense from an academic standpoint, and to submit this to the Registrar. Deans were also asked to calculate the anticipated cost of teaching the classes on their respective schedules, and the CFO allocated the funds. OAA is no longer monitoring enrollments in each course/section, as the Deans have been given the responsibility and authority to determine what makes the most sense. We expect these practices to be in place for Summer 2018 as well.     

Faculty Hiring

Please join me in welcoming our new faculty colleagues for the upcoming academic year (AY) 17-18:

Ms. Janna Andronowski, Asst Prof, Biology
Ms. Monika Cross, Asst Prof Instr, Allied Health Technology
Dr.  Gail E. Evanchan, Asst Prof Instr, Curr & Instr Studies
Dr. Alexa K. Fox, Asst Prof, Marketing
Mr. Lei Gao, Asst Prof, Accounting
Mr. Ryan Holte, Assoc Prof, Law
Mrs.  Linda J. Kerr, Assoc Prof Instr, Nursing
Ms. Minju Kim, Visit Asst Prof Pract, Music
Mrs.  Julie M. Lenyk, Asst Prof Instr, Counseling
Ms. Jennifer Lillard, Asst Prof, Corrosion Engr Tech
Ms. Siqi Ma, Asst Prof, Management
Dr. Mehdi Maleki Pirbazari, Asst Prof Engr Instr, Electrical & Computer Engr
Dr. Melanie Jolynn McGurr, Assoc Prof, Bibliography, UL Electronic Services
Dr. Thaddeus A Neururer, Asst Prof, Accounting
Dr. Chris Opoku-Agyeman, Visiting Asst Prof, Public Admin & Urban Studies
Mrs. Sheryl D. Stuck, Prof Instr, Nursing

We also have a couple of letters of offer which are still being negotiated.

The following faculty searches are currently authorized for AY 17-18:

Asst Prof, Computer Science
Visiting Asst Prof Instr, Music
Visiting Asst Prof Practice, Music
Asst Prof, Polymer Science, College of Polymer Science & Polymer Engineering
Asst Prof, Polymer Engineering, Department of Polymer Engineering
Asst Prof Instr, Counseling, Department of Counseling
Asst Prof Instr, Counseling, Department of Counseling
Professor of Instruction Nursing, Nursing

Additional faculty searches will be authorized following the same process used in AY16-17, which involved each dean bringing forward a list of college priorities in rank order, with rationale, to be shared and discussed amongst the deans. In this way, the reasoning behind the final allocation of funds is known to all deans, rather than there being any mystery associated with position authorization. The amount of funds that we will have to work with will be on the order of one-third of the net savings from recent faculty departures, including TARP.

Laptop Refresh

Thanks to the good work of committees of the Faculty Senate and University Council, we have a plan for refreshing faculty laptops. The CFO has budgeted $1.3 million in FY18 so that we can implement the plan. More details will follow.


To-date, seven of our faculty colleagues have applied for TARP and been approved by the Board of Trustees, with a few more applications pending. We appreciate everything these faculty have done and will continue to do in support of our academic programs. We anticipate TARP to be an on-going process with a rolling application window, as this will aid in both individual and programmatic strategic and succession planning.

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