Central Washington University President James L. Gaudino today announced a reorganization of the university’s leadership team that will bring new focus to implementing Responsibility Centered Management (RCM) planning for new demands upon university operations, and addressing the June retirement of Chief of Staff Sherer Holter.
Holter will immediately move to the position of vice president of operations, which she will hold through June. Stevan DeSoer, chief human resources officer, will assume the role of vice president of operations on July 1, following Holter’s retirement.
Linda Schactler, who has served as the executive director of public affairs since 2010, will add the chief of staff duties to her current assignment. George Clark, vice president of finance and business services/chief financial officer, will focus exclusively on university finance: budgeting, auxiliary services, finance, payroll, and enrollment management.
Gaudino said the adjustments position the cabinet to address new financial, social, and political realities that confront the university.
“Along with the provost, this experienced and talented team is prepared to address an entirely different world than the one in which we operated five years ago,” said Gaudino, noting that student enrollment has risen by 1,000 students while state funding has fallen by half. “Mr. Clark’s fiscal savvy has to focus on the culture change that Responsibility Centered Management will require.”
RCM is an approach to operations that drives decision making from the Office of the President to operational units—colleges, in the case of CWU. The college deans are responsible for setting priorities and generating their own revenue through student credit hours. Good decisions reward the colleges that make them and also benefit the university generally. In addition, RCM emphasizes the importance of faculty shared governance in shaping academic units.
Gaudino said Clark's new fiscal challenges also would include implementing a new budgeting system and transitioning from an accounting system dependent on thousands of “project identification” numbers (PIDs) to a modern and efficient “chart of accounts.” The new system will provide a better understanding of the university’s financial health by articulating the accounts that define each class of items for which money is spent or received.
The vice president of operations will lead the departments of Information Services, Information Security, Organizational Effectiveness, Facilities Management, Human Resources, Inclusivity and Diversity, and Police and Parking Services. President Gaudino said DeSoer is well prepared to assume the new operations position, which recognizes the extraordinary demands on and the great importance of the university's operational departments.
“It’s absolutely critical to have strong leadership in the daily operations of CWU along with someone who is a strong operational manager, like Sherer,” said Gaudino, adding that Holter has led the rapid and significant upgrade of university information systems in just a few months. “Steve brings operational understanding and knowledge of the university to this role and will ensure a smooth and transparent transition for our staff and the university. His expertise helps to ensure that we continue to attract a diverse and highly skilled workforce.”
DeSoer has more than 20 years of experience in higher education and shared governance, having worked at Washington State University and in the University of Alaska system prior to coming to CWU. He holds a master’s degree in education from Boston University. A national search for the new chief human resource officer will begin immediately.
Schactler assumes chief of staff responsibilities in addition to those of her current position as executive director of Public Affairs, which includes state and federal government relations, marketing, media relations, issue management, and university communications. The chief of staff develops and manages special projects for the president, provides coordination, and acts as liaison with campus officials, and external constituents on all matters of interest to the president, along with serving as secretary to the Board of Trustees.
“Linda has the common sense, discretion, and organizational skills that this fast-paced position requires,” said Gaudino, noting that Schactler served in a similar capacity as deputy director of the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Board from 1996 to 2000.
Schactler holds a master of arts in English Literature from Washington University (St. Louis). She previously operated an Olympia-based public affairs business and provided issue management and government relations services for CWU for 10 years. She also served as the communications director for the Washington State Senate.
Media contact: Linda Schactler, executive director of CWU Public Affairs, 509-607-4103, firstname.lastname@example.org
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