Guide To Academic Affairs

Academic Affairs is fairly streamlined at Wesleyan.  Here is a link to the organizational chart, and here is a list of contact information for Academic Affairs.  Below is a brief description of key roles.

Department Chairs are elected by the faculty in their units for a term of two or three years.  Sometimes units have long-serving chairs, but most units regularly rotate who serves as chair.  For most faculty, your Departmental (or College or Program) Chair will be your point-person for most issues.  Chairs are responsible for setting the curriculum, leading faculty meetings, organizing events, allocating and maintaining departmental budgets, recommending merit awards, coordinating searches, leading tenure and review processes, etc.

Divisional Deans are faculty who are appointed, usually for three-year terms. They serve as the main point-people for Chairs and they serve the needs of their whole division.  They authorize searches, interview candidates for ongoing faculty positions and negotiate contracts, and make merit pay recommendations.  They are not involved in the tenure process.

Associate Provost for Budget and Personnel oversees the entire Academic Affairs budget and all faculty personnel processes including hiring, immigration, appointment, promotion, and merit.

Associate Provost for Curriculum and Strategic Initiatives oversees academic initiatives and policies, pre-major advising, reaccreditation, new faculty orientation, and communications with departments and faculty.

Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs is one of the top academic administrators for the university.  The Provost & SVPAA works with the President and the Board of Trustees to ensure the continual positive development of the university.  All three divisional deans, the two associate provosts, the Olin Library, the Center for the Arts, Athletics, the Career Center, Institutional Research, Fries Center for Global Studies and other main academic units report to the Provost.

Other Academic Affairs Staff who provide resources for faculty:

  • Megan Flagg—Executive Assistant to the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Point person for scheduling appointments with the Provost, Deans, and other ACAF staff.  Manages departmental SharePoint resources.
  • Lisa Sacks—Assistant Director for Curricular Initiatives—Point person for field trip funding for classes, for candidate job searches, institutional review board, teaching and course assistant budgets
  • Joy Vodak—Associate Director, Point person for Grants in Support of Scholarship funding and non-computing capital requests, main liaison between Chairs and administrative support staff, coordinates monthly administrative support staff meetings.
  • Maureen Zimmer—Faculty Employment Specialist—Point person for ongoing faculty personnel files, manages reappointment, promotion, and review processes, manages sabbaticals and leaves, coordinates faculty elections
  • Sterling Berry-Whitlock—Faculty Employment Specialist—Point person for visiting faculty. Manages the employment processes for visiting faculty and maintains personnel documents related to all visiting faculty including post-doctoral fellows, visiting scholars, foreign language teaching assistants, and other categories
  • Michael Whitcomb—Point person for teaching evaluations, provides institutional data and analytic support, conducts surveys and other intuitional research studies
  •  Rachel Barlow—Point person for course and departmental assessment practices, supports project-based learning and student portfolio, will conduct focus groups for faculty to support course and departmental improvement