Ohio University

President Nellis announces change in academic leadership

Published: March 6, 2020 Author: Staff reports

On Friday, March 6, President M. Duane Nellis shared the following announcement with Ohio University faculty and staff.

Dear Colleagues,

I write to share with you that today, Dr. Chaden Djalali and I have come to a mutual agreement that it is time for a leadership transition with the direction of our academic affairs division. Dr. Djalali is stepping down from his role as Executive Vice President and Provost effective this afternoon. Following his sabbatical, he will join the university’s faculty in the Physics and Astronomy Department to continue his research and other faculty pursuits.

Dr. Djalali was appointed Executive Vice President and Provost of Ohio University in August of 2018. During his tenure, he led the successful search for deans in our Honors Tutorial College, Russ College of Engineering and Technology, College of Arts and Sciences, University Libraries, and the leadership restructuring for our Regional Higher Education.

In order to provide stability to our university during this time of change, I am pleased to appoint Dr. Elizabeth Sayrs as the University’s new Executive Vice President and Provost. Dr. Sayrs will begin her new role on March 7 and her appointment will be for a three-year term, in order to provide continuity to our university during this crucial time in our institution’s history. At the conclusion of her term and in accordance with the Faculty Handbook, we will undertake a search for this position.

Dr. Sayrs’ appointment comes after my consultation with faculty and university leadership and the Board of Trustees. She is uniquely positioned to lead us and ensure we excel in meeting the needs of our students, faculty and university community in order to achieve our vision for Ohio University. Her involvement in shaping our university, including as a past Faculty Senate Chair, interim Dean of the College of Fine Arts, and interim Executive Vice President and Provost (from December 2017 to July 2018), complement her strengths that she also draws upon in her current position as the Dean of University College and Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Student Success.

Later this month, Dr. Sayrs plans to develop a transition plan to identify a qualified individual who will serve as interim Dean of University College and will notify the campus community of that selection at a later date.

I want to thank Chaden for his commitment to Ohio University, our academic mission and our students. I also share my appreciation to Elizabeth for assuming this role. I believe her appointment is a positive step in advancing the core academic mission and I look forward to working with her.

Thanks to all of you for what you do each and every day in order to advance our university and the ways in which you commit to our students and their success.