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Provost’s Role Grows in Restructuring

Top aides’ duties expand in wake of Mercurio departure


Jean Morrison, University provost and chief academic officer, will take on additional academic and budgetary responsibilities. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

As part of a broad restructuring of administrative duties prompted by the retirement of longtime Executive Vice President Joseph Mercurio, Jean Morrison, University provost and chief academic officer, will assume an expanded portfolio of academic and budgetary responsibilities. In a letter sent to faculty and staff today, President Robert A. Brown said that as of July 1, Morrison will oversee academic programs, research, and student recruiting and success.

At the same time, a team of five senior administrators will assume collective leadership of the University’s administrative operations. Those leaders, who will report directly to the president, are Gary Nicksa, senior vice president for operations; Martin Howard, senior vice president for finance, chief financial officer, and treasurer; Todd Klipp, senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary of the Board of Trustees; Stephen Burgay, senior vice president for external affairs; and Scott Nichols, senior vice president for development and alumni relations. The executive vice president position will be eliminated.

Brown said that “the new organizational structure will reinforce the centrality of the University provost in leading the academic mission and enterprise for the University. It will also take advantage of the excellent group of administrative leaders that Joe Mercurio has hired and mentored to support this mission. Several of these individuals are being called upon to play significantly larger roles in this new model for collective leadership of the University.”

In his letter to faculty and staff, Brown said those University leaders who will report to Morrison are Laurie Pohl, vice president for enrollment and student affairs; Andrei Ruckenstein, vice president and associate provost for research; Willis Wang, vice president for global operations and deputy general counsel; and Kenneth Elmore, dean of students.

In addition to the University provost and the five senior vice presidents, three other top administrators will report directly to the president: Karen Antman, dean of the School of Medicine and provost of the Medical Campus; Lila Hunnewell, chief investment officer; and Tracy Schroeder, vice president for information services and technology (IS&T).

Brown said having IS&T report directly to him will allow the University to “best coordinate our increasing information technology investments across the academic and administrative functions of the University.”

Other changes effective July 1 include the promotion of Derek Howe, from associate vice president for budget, planning, and institutional research to vice president for budget and planning. Peter Smokowski, currently associate vice president for administration, will be promoted to vice president of auxiliaries, and his responsibilities will broaden to include oversight of dining and housing, as well as Agganis Arena, the Fitness & Recreation Center, and the University’s commercial enterprises. Smokowski also oversees the expansive BUworks project, an IT implementation that will simplify and streamline many University business processes, including financials, human resources, and procurement.

Brown said Smokowski’s promotion recognized his “outstanding management of our auxiliary services, which are key to the quality of student life and to the financing of the University.”

Leaders who will report to senior vice president Gary Nicksa are Derek Howe, vice president for budget and capital planning; Peter Smokowski, vice president of auxiliaries; Walt Meissner, associate vice president for operations; Thomas Daley, associate vice president for facilities; and Michael Donovan, senior associate vice president for real estate.

Reporting to senior vice president Stephen Burgay will be all marketing and communications units and the department of government and community affairs.

Thosewho will report directly to Todd Klipp are the office of the general counsel; the Board of Trustees; Peter Fiedler, vice president for administrative services; and Michael Lynch, assistant vice president and director of athletics.

Leaders who will report to Scott Nichols are Steven Hall, associate vice president for alumni relations, and C. J. Menard and Adam Wise, both associate vice presidents for development.

“I am confident that the new leadership team will serve Boston University extremely well,” Brown said. “And I’m very enthusiastic about working with them in the years ahead.”

The president said more news about the administrative reorganization will be announced in the coming months.

Art Jahnke can be reached at jahnke@bu.edu.

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