Daily Egyptian

SIU will fill administrative interim positions after chancellor is selected

By Shannon Allen

SIU President Randy Dunn said Thursday there is not a dire need to fill the seven vacant senior-level positions occupied by nine interims.

Dunn said although there are several interim positions at the university, the people in those positions are operating at full capacity.

“If there was an administrative unit that was operating in crisis, that might be a situation where one would want a permanent person in there very quickly to fix those problems,” Dunn said. “While we’ve got our challenges all over campus — in large part due to budget and enrollment — we don’t have any areas in crisis.”

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University spokesperson Rae Goldsmith said the senior-level interim positions include:

  • Chancellor Brad Colwell
  • Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan Ford
  • Vice Chancellor for Research James Garvey
  • Associate Chancellor for Institutional Diversity Elizabeth Lewin
  • Dean of University College Laurie Bell
  • Dean of the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts Deborah Tudor, pending approval by SIU’s Board of Trustees
  • Deans of Library Affairs John Howard Carter, Pamela Hackbart-Dean and Susan Tulis. Goldsmith said it is unusual for three people to occupy this position.

Goldsmith said searches for some permanent positions will not be conducted until a permanent chancellor is hired. The search for a permanent chancellor will begin in January and is expected to be completed by summer.

John Charles, a lobbyist for SIU, said the most expensive aspects of these searches are consultant usage, advertising and travel expenses for the candidates. He said using an outside consultant costs anywhere from $70,000 to $90,000 with an additional $10,000 to $20,000 for advertising.

“People want to hold off on applying for these jobs if they don’t know who their boss will be, and the chancellor wants to be able to hire his or her own staff, so it’s a domino effect,” Goldsmith said.

Dunn said the main difference between interim and permanent employees is interim employees don’t usually plan for long-term goals. 

“General practice suggests that unless an interim is given a special assignment, his or her role is to keep things running as best as possible as opposed to permanent employees, who set out a number of new initiatives,” Dunn said. “A person in a permanent role is given more latitude to do planning for new areas.”

Although the two positions have different responsibilities, he said work ethic is ultimately an individual trait.

“I tend not to use interim titles when introducing officials on campus unless it’s formal communication or a legal document,” Dunn said. “Even though these people are not permanent, they are still fulfilling their jobs and if they weren’t, we would find somebody else to do it on an interim capacity.”

Staff writer Shannon Allen can be reached at (618) 536-3326, [email protected] or on Twitter @ShannonAllen_DE.

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