Correction: The headline is incorrect. Dr. Conrad Krueger, dean of arts and sciences, withdrew his name from consideration for the position of vice president of college services. Two finalists were rejected, and a new search is underway.
President says committee confused on priorities.
By Kyle R. Cotton
After selecting three finalists for the position of vice president of college services, left vacant by the late David Mirzek, President Robert Vela chose to go back out and search for new candidates.
Vela said this was because they lack background in the performance excellence side of the position, which he said is the primary focus of the position.
Usha Venkat, director of information technology and chair of the vice president of college services search committee, said the performance excellence aspect of the position wasn’t emphasized when the committee went out to search.
Venkat believes this was because the integrated planning and performance excellence department in charge has been created recently.
In an interview Tuesday, Vela said it was a breakdown in communication.
“What I understand is there were committees who thought the dean would do that job. Now I haven’t talked to her (Venkat) about that so I need to debrief with her, but clearly the charge was that this was a leader in performance excellence, Baldrige and institutional effectiveness,” Vela said. “If she understood something else, I want to see where the disconnect happened because that was not the charge.”
Dr. Francisco Solis, dean of performance excellence, is in charge of the integrated planning and performance excellence office. He is responsible for day-to-day management performance excellence operation like Faculty 180, Curriculog and any new performance excellence projects beginning since he was hired.
Currently, the responsibilities of the vice president of college services are split among remaining administration.
Vela said a possible reason for the confusion was that the vice president of college services search and dean of performance excellence search were going on at the same time.
“Maybe there was confusion there and they thought, ‘well, the dean of performance excellence will do all that,’ but that’s more operational and we need to be visionary and I’m not sure we got the right committee,” Vela said. “I don’t know. I’ve got to talk to her and we have not debriefed on this, but obviously the folks who came through did not have that background.”
Vela said that since they have John Strybos, associate vice chancellor of facilities’ operations, and this college’s project manager Louis Kreusel, the facilities immediate need is not being ignored.
“We meet every other week to discuss projects … we need somebody to kind of keep and manage that, but they aren’t experts in that; that’s what John’s people do for us. They’re engineers, construction engineers, on staff, assigned to colleges helping with those construction projects.
That’s something that will never fall through the cracks because that’s John’s area,” Vela said.
Vela reiterated that this is a performance excellence-focused position.
“It’s a very difficult thing for a lot of folks to understand, but it’s really ensuring quality in everything we do, to construction, to budget, to assessment.
“It is the quality and effectiveness by which we operate as a college,” Vela said. “It’s a very comprehensive position.”
The vice president of college services oversees the budget, facilities, EcoCentro, Scobee Education Center, construction, grants, emergency management, information technology, facility management and institutional effectiveness and research.