Administration to shuffle top jobs – again

Administration to shuffle top jobs - again

Administration to shuffle top jobs – again

Parker Willis

As Dr. Terri Agee prepares herself for the transition into the classroom, the University prepares itself to fill the vice president of business affairs post.

In January, Agee, currently senior vice president, will move out of her administrative role and into a faculty role as a full-time instructor in the Robert W. Plaster School of Business Administration.

The change continues a pattern of top University administrators moving to the classroom. In the past year, Dr. John Messick left the vice president for academic affairs post to return to the biology department as a faculty member. After just 18 days as Messick’s successor, Dr. Jack Oakes made a similar move.

But Agee is unique in that she isn’t leaving all of her old duties behind just yet. Agee will also serve as the University’s in-house legal counsel.

“We have external counsel for the Board, Jon Dermott,” said University President Bruce Speck. “He sits at the table during Board meetings and he’s there during closed sessions to give legal advice.

“But on a day-to-day basis Terri is there to do much of our legal work.

“She looks at contracts, when there are personnel issues we talk to her about it. She has given us a lot of help internally in terms of legal issues. She also works hand-in-hand with Jon Dermott.”

One reason for Agee maintaining her role as in-house legal counsel is because Rob Yust, assistant vice president for business affairs, will be stepping in as the interim vice president of business affairs and he has no legal background. Yust has been the assistant vice president of business affairs since February 2008, and held the interim vice president position in 2007 while Agee was acting as interim president.

“It’s not always the case that the VP for business has a law degree,” Speck said. “It happens that the last VP had a law degree and Terri has a law degree. But I don’t know what the models are nationally.”

To help Yust, Jeff Gibson, director of budgeting and operations, will step into the role of interim assistant vice president for business affairs.

“The opportunity to serve the University in any capacity is certainly something that I look forward to and I will certainly contribute what I can,” Gibson said.

Gibson has been the director of budgeting and operations since August 1995 and will continue to hold that position and perform both duties for the time being.

The search for a new vice president for business affairs hasn’t started yet, but Speck said the goal is to have the position filled by next fall. Speck said he plans to create a search committee and have a national search just like the process that was done for the new director of athletics and vice president of development positions.

After the new vice president is found, Speck said the plan is to tentatively have Yust and Gibson go back to their old positions barring any changes.

“I think we have to evaluate if we still need both of those positions,” Speck said.