Last fall I asked Rob Gearhart, Associate Dean of GPS, to chair an ad hoc committee that would make recommendations regarding the decentralization of graduate program administration here at Ithaca College. The committee completed its work and made multiple recommendations that, after consultation with offices and individuals on campus, I have accepted. I want to take this opportunity to thank the members of that committee for their excellent work. In addition to Rob Gearhart, the committee consisted of Barbara Howard (Business), Dennis Charsky (School of Communication), Dick Schissel (HSHP), David Garcia (H&S), Tom Kline (Music), and Gerard Turbide (Admissions). Thank you all for your significant contributions to this process.
While there are many steps involved in this transition, there are two main components to the plan. First, individual school deans will now have full responsibility for the administration of their own graduate programs, just as they do at the undergraduate level. Second, management of admissions processes and marketing at the graduate level will remain centralized (though done in collaboration with school deans) but will move to the Division of Enrollment and Communications under the leadership of Vice President Eric Maguire. Other important graduate program functions such as running Graduate Council and producing the graduate student Hooding Ceremony will be handled by my office (see related Intercom story titled Special Assistant to the Provost Appointed).
This reorganization will give more authority and responsibility to individual program directors and their respective school deans, enable us to draw on the talents and expertise of the Division of Enrollment and Communications, and simultaneously allow us to refocus the mission of GPS towards online and extended studies.
As a part of this process, therefore, it is my pleasure to announce the reorganization of Rob Gearhart’s responsibilities and his new title of Assistant Provost for Online Learning and Extended Studies. Mr. Gearhart will oversee the newly reorganized Office of Extended Studies, which will continue to have responsibility for summer and intercession programs as well as certificate programs. His primary responsibility, however, will be to provide critically needed leadership in the development of our online capacities, which is an important goal in direct support of key IC 20/20 initiatives. Mr. Gearhart brings extensive online learning leadership experience to this reconfigured position.