Wilkes University


From the Desk of President Leahy: An Update on Organizational Changes


Dear Colleagues: 

Two years remain in the Gateway to the Future Strategic Plan, and the University has made considerable progress in nearly all six of the themes outlined in the plan.  However, within Theme 3: Recruit, Retain, Graduate and Place Undergraduate and Graduate Students, there are key initiatives that require our focused attention – new student enrollment and marketing; student retention and graduation rates; and career preparation and outcomes.

I am pleased to share with you today organizational changes that will support the University’s renewed commitment to addressing these areas of the Strategic Plan:   

- Vice President for Enrollment Management & Marketing:  I have decided to conduct a national search for a Vice President of Enrollment Management & Marketing.  This individual will report directly to me and will be responsible for all aspects of admissions, marketing, and student financial services.  Vice President for Finance and General Counsel Chip Prescott has agreed to chair this search.  Consistent with our process for past national searches, a committee comprised of representatives from various campus constituencies has been formed.  Later on in the process, all of you will have the opportunity to meet the final candidates for this important position.  
Dr. Terri Wignot will remain in her role as Associate Provost for Enrollment through this transition.  Once a new Vice President for Enrollment Management & Marketing has been selected, Dr. Wignot will return to her previous position as Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and hold some teaching responsibilities.   

- Associate Provost for Student Success:  As I mentioned at Fall Convocation, Dr. Jonathan Ference is leading the University’s efforts to improve student retention.  To better reflect this role, Dr. Ference’s title will now be Associate Provost for Student Success.  In order to better align and leverage resources, the following departments will now, or will continue to, report directly to Dr. Ference:  University College, First-Year Foundations, Honors Program, Upward Bound and WilkesEDGE.  My colleagues and I believe that the energy and expertise of these departments, combined with Dr. Ference’s leadership, will have a positive impact on outcomes centered on retention and graduation.  

- Office of Career Services:  The Office of Career Services will report to Associate Dean of Student Affairs Phil Ruthkosky and work in close concert with the Office of Cooperative Education and Internships.  This change will allow these offices to collaborate more fully and create a more dynamic environment for our students.  In this new role, Associate Dean Ruthkosky will report directly to Dr. Paul Adams, Vice President of Student Affairs.  
It is my hope and the hope of the University’s senior leadership team that these organizational changes will better position Wilkes to serve our students as they progress through their academic careers and, ultimately, achieve professional success.  This is a responsibility – and a privilege – shared by many of us on the Wilkes campus, and I thank each of you for the role you play in this good work.  


Patrick F. Leahy