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No provost at Northwest

Searches planned to replace two vice presidents

After an initial conference with employees in affected areas, Northwest College President Paul Prestwich said he no longer is considering a change in the management structure at the college.

When Sher Hruska, former vice president of academic affairs, and Dana Young, former vice president of student affairs, both left the college last spring, Prestwich said the college could consider changing to a provost form of management. A provost would have supervised both areas, with deans of instruction and students serving under the provost.

Prestwich said from the start he would not pursue the proposed change unless it won approval from people in both areas affected. But he said it should be considered, since both positions were vacant at the same time.

Prestwich explained the provost management system during a retreat with the Northwest College Board of Trustees last month. The advantage, he said, would be more interaction between student and academic services at the college.

“The traditional model works well, but it tends to be more of a solo,” he said. “I've worked with a provost three times, and it worked well. It felt more like we were one team.

“It's something we'll run up the flagpole, and it might get shot down right away,” he added.
Board President Jim Vogt said he opposed the proposal.

“I don't like it,” he said. “The only thing I see happening if we go to that system is, the students are going to lose.”

Prestwich said he met with employees in student and academic services the following week and found little support for the proposal, so the existing management structure will continue.

Efforts to find a new vice president of academic affairs will begin soon; meanwhile, Bob Krenz will fill the post in the interim, he said.

The search for a new vice president of student affairs will begin later, with an aim to fill the position before the 2011-12 school year. Tara Piantanida, NWC financial aid and scholarships director, will serve as interim vice president for student affairs during the coming school year, Prestwich said.

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