Organizational Changes and Updates

Message from the President
December 12, 2016

Dear LMU Community:

For LMU to realize our Strategic Plan and our vision as the definitive center for global imagination and its impacts, our working processes must encourage innovation and thrive in the competitive marketplace. As our initiatives gain momentum, I discerned a need to evaluate our organizational structure. Higher education institutions continue to evolve and adapt rapidly, and we seek for LMU to be at the crest of new opportunities, not dwelling in the wake.

I am instituting a change in our organizational structure that will be more responsive to our academic and student development needs and more efficient for our institutional operations. Our next executive vice president and provost must be fully focused on our academic and co-curricular priorities. To support this focus, our administration and business operations will report to a chief administrative officer who will oversee these areas and report to me.

Lynne Scarboro, senior vice president for administration, will be promoted to chief administrative officer, effective January 1, 2017. LMU has been well served by Ms. Scarboro’s leadership since 2002; the respect for her across campus is based on her imaginative and effective handling of initiatives, resulting in successful outcomes that will benefit our community for years to come. Ms. Scarboro has demonstrated an extraordinary capacity to transform operational enterprises into collaborative and supportive services that advance our curricular and co-curricular goals.

To allow for a smooth transition process, the reporting changes for our Business and Finance units will become effective on June 1, 2017. Ms. Scarboro will work closely with Provost Hellige, Senior Vice President Fleming, and the Cabinet to ensure the changes are seamless. 

In alignment with the LMU Strategic Plan, organizational efficiencies will result in “strategic prioritization of resources, innovative collaboration, and high standards of operational excellence.” Unifying the Administration and Business and Finance divisions into an integrated operational unit provides significant opportunities to cultivate team synergies, develop operational competencies across units, and realize more “agile and effective structures [to] enable a responsive enterprise and competitive edge.” 

To clarify this decision further: 

     ·  We are not adding to the administration hierarchy nor are we creating an additional position. Instead, we are shifting responsibilities and reporting structures to achieve a more nimble and responsive organization, a design that encourages staff engagement, departmental collaboration, and sharing of ideas. Ms. Scarboro’s new position will take on a broader role, encompassing the operational units currently defined as the Administration and Business and Finance divisions.

     ·   I believe our deans, faculty, and students will benefit when the provost’s portfolio has fewer reporting responsibilities. The new structure affords our incoming executive vice president and provost more time to strengthen our academic and student development partnerships, creating a more comprehensive and integrated teaching and learning experience.

     ·   To ensure our academic priorities continue to drive our financial decision-making, the executive vice president and provost will retain leadership of the university’s budgeting process.

     ·   As you are aware, Dean Tina Choe and Faculty Senate President Elizabeth Drummond are co-chairing a search committee charged with recruiting Provost Hellige’s successor. I informed Dean Choe and Professor Drummond of my decision last Thursday. I commend the committee on their work thus far, and I appreciate their patience and understanding as we refine the search process to accommodate the more focused role that I have defined.

     o    I am engaging the co-chairs and the committee members to realign the committee’s membership to reflect the refined provost position.

     o    We are taking steps to minimize impacts to the timeline and process.

     o    Though my decision was made solely for the reasons outlined above, it is likely to bring about a wider, more competitive candidate pool.

     o    An updated organizational chart is available here.

Please join me in congratulating Lynne on her new role as our inaugural chief administrative officer, an opportunity she has welcomed with her trademark creativity, determination, and humor.

With sincere thanks and appreciation,

Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.