As you well know, the university currently has a number of senior administrators in interim positions. Due to the critical nature of the budget situation, it is important to establish some much needed stability and leadership to the division of Academic Affairs.

After serving in a dual role for the past eight months, Dr. Tomás Morales will now focus on one significant task: to serve as the Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs through Fall 2005. This will allow Tomás to dedicate 100 percent of his energy to the division's needs while giving him an opportunity to continue his excellent work.

As Provost at our university, Tomás will serve as the senior vice president and the primary individual to guide the campus in my absence.

With Tomás moving into Academic Affairs on a full-time basis, Gary Fredericksen has agreed to “unretire” and assume the role of Interim Vice President for Student Affairs through the 2003-04 academic year. This appointment will become effective as soon as CalPERS approves Gary's reinstatement from service retirement. A seasoned administrator with the university, Gary has done a marvelous job in supporting the leadership needs of the division since January.

I have also asked Tomás to begin working with Dr. Lynn Turner, Interim Dean of the College of Business Administration, and the faculty, to immediately fill the Interim Associate Dean's position. Filling this position is critical as the college prepares for the renewal of our Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation.

The uncertain nature of our state budget will create some extraordinary challenges for us in the upcoming months. Therefore, it would be impossible to predict a time frame when we would begin permanent searches. We must take the steps outlined above to provide a stable infrastructure for the growing needs of our faculty, staff and students.

Please join me in supporting these campus leaders as they begin their new responsibilities.

Mike Ortiz