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Last modified: Friday, December 5, 2003

Trustees confirm Gros Louis as interim senior vice president for academic affairs and IUB chancellor

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana University Board of Trustees on Dec. 5 approved the appointment of Kenneth R.R. Gros Louis as the university's interim senior vice president for academic affairs and chancellor of the Bloomington campus. The board also confirmed a wider range of responsibilities for Charlie Nelms, the university's vice president for institutional development and student affairs.

Gros Louis will begin his interim position on Jan. 1, replacing Sharon Stephens Brehm. She will step down as the Bloomington chancellor on Dec. 31 and will become a senior adviser to IU President Adam W. Herbert. Herbert outlined some of the responsibilities for Gros Louis, who will be the university's top academic officer. Gros Louis is charged with leading the university's efforts to address issues raised in the Commission on Higher Education's recently approved blueprint for higher education; continuing to work on the transfer of credits among higher education institutions; bringing to conclusion searches for a new director of the IU Press, a new dean of the School of Journalism and a new director of the Indiana Memorial Union; finalizing organizational matters related to the School of Continuing Studies; and guiding the search for a new dean of the School of Library and Information Science.

The president said that as he moves forward with his emphasis on enhancing the academic enterprise, Gros Louis also will be involved in reviewing the reporting processes related to IU's Commitment to Excellence funding. Gros Louis and Judith Palmer, the university's vice president and chief financial officer, will work with Herbert on development of an annual report that will track the uses and impacts of the Commitment to Excellence funds. The next round of funding proposals for Commitment to Excellence funds on the Bloomington campus will be delayed until this tracking process is formalized.

"We will review the proposals for the use of Commitment to Excellence funds for 2004-05 based on the current campus plans," Herbert said. "There may be a need for some modifications based on new campus priorities and conditions. For example, we want to assure that there is a clear relationship between funding and the availability of related facilities and support services that are essential for the success of the proposed initiatives."

Beginning this academic year, new students on the Bloomington campus are paying a $1,000 Commitment to Excellence fee that is being used to support critical missions and initiatives of the university. New students at IUPUI pay $800 and those on regional campuses are assessed $500.

In November, Herbert announced new responsibilities for Nelms, including a university-wide portfolio emphasizing improving the quality of student life as IU's chief student affairs officer and chief diversity officer. The president outlined to trustees the specific priorities for Nelms in the next year. They include developing a university-wide capacity for institutional research, policy analysis, accountability, effectiveness and continuous improvement; leading the planning and implementation of the mission differentiation initiative; strengthening and expanding IU's college readiness initiative to enhance preparation of under-represented and first-generation students; leading efforts to increase the participation of women and minority-owned businesses in the university's procurement activities; and reviewing current practices and coordinating university-wide efforts to improve the quality of the IU student experience.

The president also recommended and the board approved Judith Wertheim as interim dean of the School of Continuing Studies. A longtime administrator in the school, Wertheim is expected to serve in the interim role for six to eight months and will report to Gros Louis.

Herbert said the university's internal audit department will begin reporting to him as well as the Board of Trustees. The department has reported to the vice president for administration and the board. Because the university president is accountable for the operations of the university, Herbert said this reporting structure will provide him with a clearer sense of those operations and allow him to work with department heads on enhancements of university administrative practices.

The president also said he wants to foster greater university-wide communication and collaboration and will establish university-wide councils to facilitate that process.

"These councils will be set up by functional area and will be designed to discuss problems and processes, review policies and strengthen professional development," Herbert said. Each council will be convened by the respective vice president, who will work closely with chancellors to speed decision-making and foster more collaboration.

Among the councils will be groups for academic affairs, student affairs, marketing and communications, administrative services, financial affairs, diversity and development.