Personnel Management

As Provost & VP for Academic Affairs at Radford and FHSU, I have managed large and complex organizations of nearly 700 full and part-time faculty and over 450 full and part-time professional staff.  See sample organizational chart

Building and Retaining a World-class Faculty and Staff

Hiring and position management

Effective faculty and staff hiring requires numerous components – internal and external clarity about the knowledge and skills needed for the position; a recruiting strategy that garners the largest and most qualified applicant pool possible; an efficient search process that enables the institution to make offers in advance of the competition and hopefully close the deal with top choice candidates; and the ability to offer adequate compensation packages. At FHSU and at Mercy, I implemented a faculty values project that helped the departments identify the ideal characteristics of a new faculty hire. This was then distilled down to create a core rubric, to which each department could add specific requirements, that was used to assess all applicants. As Provost I reviewed and approved all advertisements to ensure that they were clear and precise. The Academic Affairs Leadership Team also reviewed, improved and standardized the University and College descriptions for all job ads which made the institution and its location more attractive to candidates.The timing of the recruitment process is critical to success. If an institution can predict openings more than a year in advance it can fill positions as soon as they are open, and avoid using temporary hires or increasing the load on the existing faculty while positions are open. One of the most important roles of a Provost is to determine how faculty lines are allocated to the colleges and departments. At Radford, in partnership with my deans, I developed a risk and growth rate based model based on key metrics from each department, to determine allocation of new lines and shifting of lines from declining or phased out programs. This analysis was shared with the entire faculty to promote transparency in the decision-making process. I have also presented this model at an AASCU meeting. The model uses a two-year window, with projected faculty needs based on program growth, expected retirements and resignations, and funding availability. To aid in this process I implemented a retirement and resignation policy that provided a financial bonus to faculty if they provided us with at least seven months’ notice of their planned retirement or resignation.

The above initiatives enabled the departments to post advertisements very early in the annual recruiting cycle, and most importantly, to attend national meetings for their discipline with jobs in hand and candidate interviews prescheduled. To attract a more diverse candidate pool we increased advertising in diversity specific publications. I also encouraged the deans to create relationships with their counterparts at HBUs, HSIs and other minority serving institutions so that we could create a pipeline for graduate students nearing completion of their degrees to faculty positions at FHSU.

To expedite the hiring process, I helped develop process flow diagrams for each type of faculty hire (TT, multiyear, temp). This enabled us to see where bottlenecks occurred, redesign the process, and to set appropriate durations for each step. This resulted in much shorter searches and an increase in hiring of first choice candidates.

Finally, to ensure that we could close the deal with our top candidates, I used national compensation databases such as CUPA, and analyses within local markets and among national peer institutions, to set competitive compensation and benefit packages.

As part of the hiring process at Radford and FHSU, I reviewed and approved all search committee appointments, on-campus interviews etc. I also briefly interviewed all tenure / tenure track candidates and library staff recommended for appointment at FHSU. I appointed two of the five current deans and numerous department chairs.

Growing and Retaining the Best

People start looking for other jobs primarily when they are unhappy with their current positions. It is therefore very important to be clear, equitable about, and align personnel expectations with institutional reward systems, such as promotion, tenure and where possible merit pay; to provide opportunities for personal growth; and to ensure that the campus climate is supportive of faculty and staff retention. To address expectations, I implemented the “Faculty Values” task force at both FHSU and Mercy, which more clearly defined, aligned and communicated values, activities, expectations and rewards within teaching, research and service at these institutions. As a faculty member I have served on Tenure and Promotion committees and thus have this perspective. As Provost, I annually reviewed all tenure and promotional portfolios and made recommendations to the President for appointments. I also charged the University-wide Promotion and Tenure committee. This ensured that the process was being executed appropriately and fairly, but also gave me a perspective on the quality of the faculty portfolios. In addition, at FHSU, I worked extensively on planning a merit based system for pay increases.As outlined on my faculty and staff development page I have implemented extensive support and development organizations to help faculty grow in their teaching and research skills. I am also a believer in formative evaluation and mentoring. At FHSU I implemented a 360-degree evaluation of all department chairs, deans, directors etc. Each chair was subsequently paired up with a senior administrator (dean, VP etc.) outside of their school for ongoing mentoring based initially on the evaluation.

To strategically improve the campus climate at FHSU I incorporated input from our biennial “Best Universities to Work For” survey into the strategic planning process. In essence, we took the bottom five lowest scores and developed strategies for improving the ratings. I have also conducted annual job satisfaction and organizational communications surveys and implemented changes based on the results.


In prior positions, I served on numerous search committees for faculty and administrative appointments. At Stony Brook I hired and managed a diverse staff of 37 full time professional staff including programmers, system engineers, web-designers, instructional design and faculty development specialists, educational assessment specialist, multimedia specialists, information technology specialists, TV studio production staff, AV technicians, helpdesk and customer service staff, classroom management and support staff. I am therefore experienced at developing job specifications to meet needs.