JU Organizational Announcement

Thursday, June 30, 2016

To the Jacksonville University Community:

After considerable deliberation and discussion with University leadership, we are pleased to announce today upgrades to our administrative structure.  This represents the natural evolution of our leadership organization to align with the clearly emerging potential of Jacksonville University.  We have balanced the need to be much more efficient with opportunities for innovation and coordination.  We continue to hold as our highest priorities:

  1. Improve our academic rigor and excellence
  2. Fully support our faculty
  3. Attract, retain and graduate more, better students
  4. Solidify our financial future
  5. Upgrade our technology infrastructure
  6. Connect to our community
  7. Create a rewarding environment where our staff members are proud to work
  8. Develop graduates who are prepared for life-long success in learning, achieving, leading and serving.

Effective July 1, we will streamline into five primary areas of responsibility:

  • University and Academic Affairs
  • Student Affairs
  • University Relations and Development
  • Enrollment Management and Communications
  • Financial and Facilities Management

To accelerate our efforts, I have asked several members of our University executive team to assume leadership responsibilities of these groups:

  • University and Academic Affairs is created to combine several core critical functions:

    Academic Leadership: our four Colleges, Deans, Associate Provost, Public Policy Institute, Marine Science Research Institute, Academic Advising, Registrar, and curriculum, faculty and accreditation management;

    University Leadership: Library, Institutional Research, Grants/Sponsored Research, International Relations and new additions - - Academic Technology and Athletics.  

    The leader of University and Academic Affairs will be selected and announced in early July, following extensive and well-informed discussions throughout June with an academic advisory committee of the Faculty Executive Committee, our four Deans, Senior Staff, our Associate Provost, Board and Alumni representatives.  I thank them for their hard work and commitment to academic excellence. Based on the sound input of that committee:  to achieve our aspirations, we must expect the leader of University and Academic Affairs to come from inside the University and be willing to hold the position for at least 1-2 years, with the option to be considered for a permanent position, and hold a Ph.D. with top academic credentials as a student, faculty member and administrator.  This individual should be able to clearly articulate our priorities, even as new agenda items emerge, and be able to excel with the high profile and heavy demands of the position.  We expect this individual to represent the University well with multiple constituents here and in the surrounding community.  The Advisory Committee counseled that the ideal candidate should be comfortable and experienced in the role of mentor and partner - - transparent, supportive and empowering - - and able to make difficult decisions fairly, with a thick skin, a sense of humor, perspective and purpose.  In essence, this person should represent the standard:  standard bearer, standard setter and standard enabler.

  • Student Affairs will be led by Dr. Kristie Gover and include:  Student Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion, Security, Title IX Compliance, Residential Life, Student Counseling Center, Disability Support Services, Student Solutions Center, Student Involvement, Recreation & Operations, New Student Orientation, International Student Advising, Varsity Athletics and shared responsibilities (with Finance) for Campus Dining.

  • University Relations and Development will be led by Brigadier General (ret) Mike Fleming and will include:  Community and Military Relations, Government Affairs, University Advancement (including Alumni Relations, Corporate Relations and President’s Parents Council), Career Services and Special Events.  Also reporting here will be our innovative Entrepreneurism, Policy, Innovation and Commerce (EPIC) program, now funded on a recurring basis by the State of Florida.  Terri Davlantes, who has led this effort successfully since October, 2014, will be working closely with us through December in helping manage an orderly leadership transition in this area.

  • Enrollment Management and Communications will be led by Margaret Dees and will include:  Admissions, Financial Aid, Marketing & Branding (Creative Services, Magazine and Publications, Web Management and Development), Strategic Communications (Social Media, Media & Public Relations, Internal & Crisis Communications).

  • Financial and Facilities Management will report to David Healy and include: Human Resources, Finance (Budget, Controller, Banking), Treasury/Cash, Bursar, Information Technology (Infrastructure, Phone/Network, Administrative Systems and Standards, Hardware Inventory), Facilities (ARAMARK), Capital Projects and Planning, Administrative Services (with shared responsibilities for Campus Dining), Purchasing/Vehicles, Bookstore, Vending, Post Office and Scheduling.

In addition, our standing Office of the President will continue with Diana Donovan as Director.  Also in the Office will be Dolores Starr, Executive Administrative Assistant, Caroline Busker, Coordinator of Special Events, and Artis Gilmore, Special Assistant to the President

We are committed to greater accountability and more timely decision-making.  Consistent with current global views of University leadership, and to mitigate any legacy silos, we are also initiating later this year several “Key Issue Teams” to address important cross-University issues, engage important stakeholders, regardless of formal reporting structure.  Final decision-making will rest within the appropriate area of responsibility, while these teams will help us better understand opportunities from a full range of campus perspectives.  I look forward to introducing these new teams as we finalize them.

These improvements will enable us to better support our ambitious academic mission, and operate with lower costs, greater efficiency and much-improved coordination.  This tightening of our organizational structure is another sign of moving our University forward toward excellence.  Thank you for your continued support and the tremendous effort you put forth every day to accelerate our progress toward becoming a premier University.


Tim Cost
Jacksonville University
Class of 1981