Vest Still Uncertain On Replacement for Former VP CullintonBy David D. Hsu
The death of Vice President for Administration James J. Culliton in June left a void at the vice presidential level. President Charles M. Vest is in charge of selecting a replacement, but it is unclear how the responsibilities of the vice president may change, said Senior Vice President William R. Dickson '56.
"I have no idea what's happening," said Nancy M. Crosby, administrative assistant for the office of the vice president for administration. Vest said he would contact the office before making a public announcement, but "no decisions have been made as of yet," she said.
"I know there's been a great deal of thought" on Vest's part, said Director of Student Financial Aid Stanley G. Hudson. Vest has been soliciting a lot of input from people. However, there's been "no communication about what the next steps are going to be."
The Office of the Vice President for Administration supervises the Admissions Office, the Bursar's Office, the Registrar's Office, the Office of Student Financial Aid, the Office of Career Services and Preprofessional Advising, the Athletics Department, the Medical Department, and the Office of Sponsored Programs.
Currently, Director of Sponsored Programs Julie T. Norris is taking care of most of the vice presidential responsibilities, Dickson said.
Norris has not been officially designated as an acting vice president, but she is meeting with the departments in the office as well as sitting in on the Academic Council, Hudson said.
Some departments, not knowing who to contact, are also talking to Vice President for Human Resources Joan F. Rice and Dickson, Crosby said.
Administration shuffling possible
The Office of the Vice President for Administration was created in 1994 as a result of the death of then-Vice President Constantine B. Simonides '57. Rice and Barbara G. Stowe, director of foundation relations and developments system, were promoted to the vice presidential level while Vice Presidents Glenn P. Strehle '58 and Culliton gained new responsibilities.
It is not known whether or not there would be a similar reshuffling at the vice presidential level.
"Will they put a person in place that has those same responsibilities [as Culliton]? I doubt it," Dickson said. "I think that the responsibilities that Mr. Culliton had were partially because of the untimely death of Simonides."
With the new re-engineering look of MIT, Vest has an opportunity to look at the vice presidential offices, Dickson said.
"There's lots of possibilities," Dickson said. Day to day operating functions like Physical Plant, which is currently under Dickson, are likely to stay in one area, he said. Housing and dining issues may be combined with the Dean's Office, or they may be put in one vice presidential office in order to better serve the students.
"You could go down the list of vice presidents and think about how to realign them," Dickson said. The decision lies completely with Vest.
President Vest declined to comment on what will happen to the vice presidential offices.
Re-engineering also affected
Although re-engineering is not looking at the vice presidential level itself, student services re-engineering is examining some departments that fall under vice presidents.
The Office of Student Financial Aid, the Bursar's Office, and the Registrar's Office are all being closely reviewed by student services re-engineering. These offices all fall under the Office of the Vice President for Administration.
"It's completely up in the air about how we will reorganize," Hudson said.
In addition to his responsibilities as vice president, Culliton, along with Dean for Undergraduate Education Rosalind H. Williams, also served as a co-sponsor of the student services re-engineering effort.
Since the teams have moved into the implementation stage, his death will not affect the progress of re-engineering, Dickson said.
However, some do feel that Culliton's death has represented a substantial loss to the re-engineering process. "I've missed him terribly as a co-sponsor," Williams said.
No arrangements have been made for another co-sponsor.
"Its been a real gap in the process of re-engineering," Williams said. "Everyone has been aware of it and has been trying to fill in to the best of their ability."