Announcing New JU Staff Leadership Appointments

August 23, 2013

To JU staff and faculty:

We have made tremendous progress this summer, and we are well-prepared to welcome a new wave of talented, promising students to Jacksonville University. It’s been gratifying to see everyone come together as we create significant improvements across our institution. Thank you for all your efforts.

Organizationally, our goal is to vastly upgrade our staff efforts, while lowering our costs. We are dedicated to excellence, and to excel, we must consistently attract, instruct and graduate not only more students, but better and better students, each academic year. To that end, I’m pleased to note we’ve already seen unprecedented improvement in our numbers of returning sophomores for this 2013-14 school year. Progress is underway.

Moving forward, our vision for the staff organization is to create more flexibility, a lighter and flatter construct with a greater service focus and “player-coaches” who lead our important staff functions and keep us focused on student success. These roles will support our faculty, who are front-line to our students’ outstanding experience.

We recognize the need to operate this University with lower costs in our staff organization, with better service, and with better support for our faculty and students. We are committed to achieving that. With that in mind, I’m pleased to announce the following appointments in JU’s leadership, effective immediately:

Chief Academic Officer: Dr. Bill Crosby. In this acting role, which we announced in late July, Bill will lead our considerable academic efforts and our talented faculty. Bill has been associate professor of accounting and Robert T. Shircliff Professor of Business Ethics, and was also recently named our 2012-13 Professor of the Year.

Chief Administrative Officer: Dr. Derek Hall. In this role, Derek will coordinate our highest-priority projects, making sure we deliver in a timely fashion for all of our students the best possible campus, with the highest-quality facilities. Current projects on his plate, working in close cooperation with Executive Director of Campus Services Mike Bobbin, include the new College of Health Sciences building, the Student Veterans Association center in the Founders Building, our new football/lacrosse stadium at Milne Field and the River House renovation. He will continue to handle Commencement planning and carry other responsibilities.

Chief Admissions Officer: Marisol Preston. In this role, Marisol will step up to lead our Admissions effort and will be dedicated to the recruitment and enrollment of outstanding JU students, beginning right now with the Class of 2018. Marisol has been our Senior Assistant Director of Admissions and has worked at JU for two years.

Chief Advancement Officer: Kimberly Mariani. In this position, Kim will return to our University to be responsible for cultivating, engaging and educating our donors, and to help us maintain and enhance our growing base of JU investors. Kim comes to us from Second Harvest North Florida, where she was Director of Community Engagement. Before that, she was Director of Development & Alumni Relations in the Schreyer Honors College at Pennsylvania State University, and prior to that, spent more than a decade at JU, where her last role was as Assistant Vice President of Advancement. She will begin her new appointment Sept. 11.

Chief Athletics Officer: Brad Edwards. In this role, Brad will continue to oversee all of our Athletics efforts, including our 19 Division 1 teams.

Chief Communications and Marketing Officer: Margaret Dees. In her role, Margaret will return to JU and be responsible for all internal and external communications, in addition to our advertising, branding, marketing, website development and execution. Margaret is a 1986 JU alum, and before her new position was Director of Institutional Advancement at Florida Coastal School of Law. Earlier, she was Director of Alumni & Parent Relations here at JU, and prior to that she was Senior Counsel with the Holland & Knight law firm.

Chief Financial Officer: George Scaduto. In this role, George remains responsible for human resources, treasury, our controller, budgeting and cash management. Additionally, he will now oversee our Financial Aid efforts, assuming these responsibilities from Enrollment Management.

Chief Government and Community Affairs Officer: Dr. Donald Horner. A former JU management professor who has most recently worked as the City of Jacksonville’s Education Commissioner, Donnie returns to JU as our primary liaison to our military, community and all elected local and state officials.

Chief Information Officer: Tom Hall. In this role, Tom remains responsible for all Information Technology on the JU campus, including our wireless capabilities, computer/network services, phone services, technology issues and more.

Chief Strategic Relations Officer: Michael Howland. In this position, Michael will create, advance and develop our intensified interactions with critical audiences, especially focusing on our alumni, parents and families of incoming freshmen. He will work to establish new regional cabinets of alums and coordinated alumni/parent leadership. His responsibilities will also include additional University planning duties.

Chief Student Affairs Officer: Dr. Kristie Gover. In this role, Kristie will continue her excellent work to ensure the best, most well-rounded student experience JU can offer. She will oversee Student Life, including Residential Life, the student conduct system, student government and traditional student affairs such as student involvement and leadership, orientation and Greek life. She also leads the University’s retention-focused initiatives.

Artis Gilmore will remain Special Assistant to the President, and Katherine Thomas and Luka Vukadinovic will continue as our Presidential Fellows. Caroline Busker, with us since 2012, will take on an expanded role as Coordinator of Special Events.

We will have more announcements regarding some of these individual appointments in the weeks ahead.

As the summer has progressed and we have finalized these plans, I’d like to recognize Drs. John Balog, now at the University of Great Falls, and Lois Becker, now at the University of North Texas at Dallas. I’d also like to note the efforts of JU Vice President of Enrollment Management Terry Whittum, who has become an executive consultant to me on matters related to financial aid, admissions and enrollment, working off-site.

We have requested and received productive cooperation from several of our largest partners here on campus, including Sodexo, Bisk, Follett and Siemens. In some cases this has helped us lower costs, in some cases it has led to much-improved service, and in some cases it has led to upgrades in personnel.

All of the improvements we are putting in place are designed to help us operate in the most effective way possible, and to do it in a lean and focused manner. We need to review all of our personnel needs and staff levels as we continue our progression.

Thank you for all your work, and I am excited for you to join me as we continue to invest in our students and their continuing success.


Tim Cost
Jacksonville University
Class of 1981