Dec 042009
 
Authors: Madeline Novey

In a move that will save the university approximately $150,000 annually and is hoped to streamline its administrative structure, CSU President Tony Frank consolidated two vice presidential positions into one, he said Monday.

The change, which combined the positions of senior vice president for Administrative Services and vice president for Finance into one new position dubbed vice president of University Operations, marks a palpable shift in administrative leadership that has worked to re-route funding cuts away from academics rather than bolstering its own financing.

“As we approach the FY11 Planning & Budget process, we in the administration have a responsibility to demonstrate our commitment to cost containment and making difficult choices,” Frank said in an e-mail to the university community. “And I believe we must do so in a way that respects the most critical service needs of students and faculty, reorganizing those areas where we have an opportunity to become more focused and streamlined while minimizing the impact of any changes on the academic side.”

During his tenure, former CSU President Larry Penley overhauled top-level administration, adding more Continued from Page 1

than a dozen VP-level spots with hefty budgets and salaries, while funding to academic colleges and the library saw smaller growth.

Within months of his term as Interim President after Penley resigned suddenly last November, Frank cut approximately $1.5 million from the administrative budget.

Current Deputy General Counsel Amy Parsons — elected by a group of CSU’s key advisors, System Chancellor Joe Blake, Chairman of the CSU System Board of Governors Patrick McConathy and Frank — will take over as the new vice president of University Operations on Dec. 15.

Parsons will receive $250,000 annually, which equals current VP of Administrative Services Tom Gorell’s salary.

Because she has provided legal counsel to the departments she will work with in her new role, Parsons said she “understands a fair amount” about each of their positions and plans to build upon Gorell’s and current VP for Finance Allison Dineen’s successes. Frank, too, lauded her institutional knowledge of the two divisions.

But coming from a more than 10-year legal career, Parsons, a CSU alumna, admitted that she will “definitely have some challenges” in her new administrative leadership position.

“I’m going to work in the next months to understand what the division’s priorities are … learn more about the operational aspects of the departments,” Parsons, who received her Juris Doctorate from CU-Boulder, said, adding, “I certainly don’t pretend I know a lot.”

CSU spokesperson Brad Bohlander said CSU System General Counsel Michael Nosler will decide who will fill Parsons’ role once she changes positions next month.

Gorell will act as special assistant to the provost until his retirement next year. He and Interim Provost and Executive Vice President Rick Miranda “will work out specific projects and duties over the next few weeks,” Bohlander said in an e-mail.

Dineen, who started at CSU in 1995, is to become special assistant to the vice president for University Operations. She will maintain a “financial leadership position,” Bohlander said in a phone interview.

Gorell and Dineen will also start in their positions Dec. 15. They will help Parsons from now until then with her transition into the dual role.

Bohlander said neither Gorell nor Dineen were demoted, but that as part of eliminating both vice presidential positions “there will necessarily be reductions in salaries.”

The roles of senior vice president for Administrative Services and vice president for Finance were traditionally combined at CSU but were split in 2007 “because of the difficulty in finding a single person with experience across both portfolios,” Frank said in the e-mail.

News Managing Editor Madeline Novey can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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