Text of Phelan Announcement

Post a Comment » Written on February 17th, 2006     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (February 17, 2006) – Following is the full text of the announcement the election of Dr. John E. Phelan to a newly created position of executive vice president for academic affairs at North Park University.

From Bruce P. Bickner
Chief Executive Officer

I am pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees has created the position of executive vice president for academic affairs (EVPAA) and that Jay Phelan has been elected by the board to perform the additional responsibilities of this new position. As EVPAA, Jay is the chief academic officer of university, reporting to the president and working collegially with members of the president’s cabinet.

The EVPAA is responsible for all university academic programs (including the library), and therefore Jay now oversees academic planning, execution, integration and evaluation for the entire university. In such role, Jay will chair the Directors Council. The membership of such council has been expanded to include the dean of faculty and academic life of the seminary, thereby facilitating integration of all university academic programs.

There will be no changes in the reporting relationships of the members of the Directors Council at this time. It is expected, however, that in due course three deans of academic affairs will report to the EVPAA: an undergraduate dean, a graduate and professional dean, and the seminary dean. The designation of a graduate and professional dean will address the need for communication, coordination and common standards and procedures across all such programs and schools.

Jay will continue to serve as president and dean of the seminary. He will delegate a number of his seminary and related church responsibilities to Steve Graham and others in the seminary leadership. The university’s organizational structure thus continues to recognize the unique role and history of the seminary within the Evangelical Covenant Church, as the primary reporting relationship of the seminary’s dean of faculty and academic life will continue to be to the president and dean of the seminary. Delegation or responsibilities within the seminary is addressed in a separate announcement.

The creation of the position of EVPAA emphasizes the central importance of academic life at North Park by visibly positioning academic leadership at the highest levels of university administration. This new position likewise recognizes the need to create an integrated and sustainable planning model focused on academic excellence and integrity, as well as the university’s long-term financial viability. The EVPAA is responsible for evaluating the overall and relative effectiveness and viability of the various programs and schools, working with their leadership to plan effectively and to execute efficiently.

In consultation with the president and members of the president’s cabinet, the EVPAA will exercise stewardship over the academic resources of the university and make recommendations to the president and cabinet regarding the future composition and structure of all of the schools and programs, including the allocation of faculty and financial resources among such schools and programs. The EVPAA will also offer leadership and continuity to the processes for institutional research and effectiveness, as well as academic accreditation.

The creation of the position of EVPAA involved consultation with and advice from the Directors Council, as well as discussions with the Board of Trustees, the office of the president, and the president of the Evangelical Covenant Church. Such consultation voiced strong support for the creation of this new position and provided valuable insight into the personal qualities desired in the EVPAA. Particular emphasis was placed on selection of a person of unquestioned academic excellence and integrity, an individual with good administrative and interpersonal skills who makes people feel valued and respected, and someone who is a good listener, with the ability to work in a fair and constructive manner to assimilate the thinking of the broad spectrum of North Park’s academic personnel. There was also a concern expressed that the EVPAA understand and value the unique academic distinctives of North Park and its relationship to its owner, the Evangelical Covenant Church.

The Board of Trustee’s election of Jay Phelan followed careful consideration of the foregoing consultation. Jay is noted for his academic excellence and integrity and he has a successful record of academic leadership in the seminary. His selection as EVPAA in many ways continues the contributions he has been making to university academic leadership over the past 14 months as a member of the office of the president. He is positioned to move forward now and he brings to his new position a particular capability to lead the integration of all the university academic programs and faculties. Of equal importance is Jay’s demonstrated role as a Christian scholar. Jay has a commitment to the values of compassion and justice. In summary, he is particularly qualified to work with faculty and others to develop and implement a comprehensive spiritual, academic and economic vision for North Park’s present and future academic programs and institutional mission as a Christian, multicultural and urban university.

I urge you all to welcome Jay in his new role and to offer him the collegial support that will be necessary for him to fulfill his new responsibilities.

Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.

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