From staff reports
Executive Vice President and Provost Kathy Krendl has named Ann Fidler interim associate provost for strategic initiatives, a one-year appointment designed to ensure Ohio University continues its progress in implementing Vision Ohio and integrating with the University System of Ohio.
Dean of the university's Honors Tutorial College since 2002, Fidler will step down from that position on June 30. Krendl will appoint an interim dean and plans a search for Fidler's permanent replacement.
In her new role, Fidler will coordinate planning efforts related to the academic mission, particularly the Five Year Vision Ohio Implementation Plan and the University System of Ohio, and serve as a liaison to senior institutional leadership, task forces, committees, constituent and external groups, and professional organizations.
In a related measure, Krendl announced that interim Executive Vice Provost David Descutner will continue in that role through June 30 of next year pending a search for a permanent executive vice provost.
"One of the chief strengths of the Five Year Vision Ohio Implementation Plan is its iterative nature," Krendl said. "Because it is subject to discussion and refinement, we can capture the best ideas on how to support and enhance our learning, teaching and research environment.
"But iterative strategic planning cannot succeed unless you have individuals with the ability to keep the complexities from overwhelming the substance," she said. "The work that Ann and David did on the five-year plan was a testament to their talents, teamwork and commitment to Ohio University. We need their continued efforts on both the five-year plan and on our USO planning work."
Fidler said she is looking forward to filling the position, which will exist just one year.
"I welcome the opportunity to serve as a conduit for people who have good ideas as well as those who have concerns," Fidler said. "I want to help ensure that the five-year plan continues to be implemented successfully and that we enter the USO in a way that preserves what's unique and special about Ohio University and yet allows us to contribute significantly to statewide efforts."
Krendl said the selection of an interim HTC dean, as well as the timing and nature of the search for a permanent dean, will be discussed in coming weeks. A committee involving HTC's students, staff, directors of studies and alumni will be appointed once the details of the search are finalized.
"I have had the privilege of doing this job for six years. My greatest joy has been in working with our students; they are beyond amazing," Fidler said. "With the help of a staff and faculty made up of smart, energetic, patient and caring people, the HTC of today resembles the HTC that I had in mind when I began my deanship."
She said her focus has been on strengthening the internal workings of the college -- the way it functions, its visibility in the university, how it recruits students and the community that exists within it -- and she is pleased with the progress. Advancing the college further, she said, will require a dean who values the college's students and is passionate about building the resources necessary to enhance their academic pursuits.
"The fourth dean of the Honors Tutorial College," she said, "must be a successful fund-raiser who can take what is truly one of the most amazing colleges in American higher education and convince friends, alumni, corporations, rock stars, Nobel Prize winners, members of the British royal family and reclusive billionaires to invest in it."
Prior to being named dean, Fidler served five years as a faculty member in the Department of History. She holds a law degree and doctorate in history from the University of California at Berkeley and a bachelor of arts honors degree from the University of Kansas.
Krendl said hiring a permanent executive vice provost to succeed Descutner will be the final step in building the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost's senior-level staff.
"We have been successful during this academic year in hiring a dean of libraries, a vice president for research and creative activity and dean of the graduate college, and a vice provost for enrollment management. We are actively pursuing candidates for the vice provost for diversity, access and equity," she said. "Given the oversight role of the executive vice provost, I would like, if possible, to have all vice provosts in place before completing the search. David's willingness to continue in the interim role for another year will make this feasible."
Descutner also will continue to serve as associate provost for undergraduate studies and dean of University College.
"When I appointed David as interim executive vice provost, a faculty member e-mailed me saying enthusiastically that he was the best choice I could have made," Krendl said. "David's skilled work in helping to bring the various diversity offices together, guiding Graduate Studies and keeping the focus on recruitment and retention has amply borne out that endorsement."