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Davis, California

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Search for three new administrators underway

Major central administration changes are in progress as Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Enrique Lavernia and Vice Chancellor for Research Barry Klein have decided to step down.

Both administrators will return to their previous jobs – Lavernia as dean of the College of Engineering and Klein as a faculty member in the Department of Physics.

“Many people like myself are going to central administration for fixed periods of time to serve the campus,” Klein said. “At some point we almost always go back to the faculty and to what is really our first love, which is teaching and research.”

Klein is finishing his 12th year working in the central administration, nine of which have been as vice chancellor for research. He will complete his term on June 30, 2010.

Despite declining multiple requests to be provost in 2007, Lavernia agreed to serve in Jan. 2009 for a temporary period of up to three years.

“A return to the College of Engineering has always been part of my plans, although I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the entire campus and its many dedicated faculty, students and staff,” Lavernia said in an e-mail interview.

Chancellor Linda Katehi announced Klein and Lavernia’s plans in a public announcement posted on her website.

“The provost’s office and the College of Engineering would be best served by long-term, permanent appointments,” Katehi said in the announcement.

Lavernia will continue to act as provost until his successor is appointed. The recruitment process for provost could easily take six months, Lavernia said.

Katehi has also created a new administrative position in response to a comprehensive fundraising campaign that has been developing for over three years. The new executive director for the campaign will report directly to the chancellor.

Advancement Services, Foundation Accounting and University Development units will now be reassigned from University Relations to report to the new director.

Katehi plans to seek the required approval from the Regents later this year and to launch the public phase of the campaign in the fall, Lavernia said.

The chancellor asked for nominations for search committees with a deadline of Jan. 15. Once committees are formed, the searches for the three new administrators will begin.

Committees will look internationally and will probably use market salaries to find highly accomplished individuals, Associate Chancellor Maril Stratton said.

“We are looking for a very broad and diverse and very accomplished array of candidates for all of the positions,” Stratton said.

It will be difficult to say how much these administrative changes will cost the university financially until the search is completed, Stratton said.

Some have criticized the university for paying administrators too much in exchange for a more competitive edge.

“We will have to strike a balance between our twin duties to the people of California: to attract the very best in academic leadership while exercising appropriate stewardship of our financial resources,” Lavernia said.

Lavernia and Klein are both looking forward to the upcoming changes.

“I am looking forward to continuing to serve this campus in the capacity of dean of the College of Engineering, where we have many exciting projects underway,” Lavernia said.

Klein is excited to spend more time with students and research, a part of his career that he has missed for the past 12 years, he said.

“It’s going to be nice to go back and do what I was trained to do,” he said.

JANELLE BITKER can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.


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