Contact: Office of the Provost – 208/792-2213
New Organizational Structure Taking Shape
LEWISTON—Officials at Lewis-Clark State today announced the first phase of a plan to reorganize key roles at the college.
Fully implemented, the plan will have three deans replacing associate and assistant vice presidents on the college organizational chart. Two of those positions will be filled on an interim basis by Kathy Martin, who will serve as Interim Dean of Community Programs, and Robert Lohrmeyer, Interim Dean of the School of Technology.
Traditional four-year academic programs will be consolidated under a third dean, not yet named. That position will remain vacant for the time being, partly in response to budget pressures.
Martin, previously the Interim Assistant Vice President for Extended Programs, will oversee all community and instructional support programs. Lohrmeyer, an Office and Business Technology professor and the former faculty association chair, will head the formerly separate professional, technical and vocational programs, now consolidated into a School of Technology.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Rita Morris said the changes were a major element in the overall strategic planning effort. “We wanted to take a hard look at the college’s structure and find ways to make us more effective, efficient and flexible,” she said. For the reorganization component, officials also wanted to come up with a structure that best supported the college’s top programs. “We wanted to provide mechanisms to allow programs with the greatest potential and demand to grow,” Morris said.
The college began the strategic planning effort last year, even before budget cuts sent the state’s higher education institutions scrambling to develop cost-saving measures. In drafting its plan, Lewis-Clark State’s administration looked to a working team composed of people from across the campus spectrum for ideas about possible changes. The team began the task of sorting through options last year.
While the changes are coming in the midst of an anemic state budget, President Dene Thomas has emphasized they are not solely the result of the dramatic cuts in state funding. Morris echoed those earlier statements, saying, “Certainly, the changes we’re making are influenced by the budget; however, budget was not the primary driving force behind them.”
Director of Institutional Planning, Research and Assessment Chet Herbst, commented on another planning goal, which was to improve communication throughout the institution. He said the new structure is the first step in removing communication bottlenecks, clarifying roles and simplifying reporting lines. For example, he said the new changes will shrink the number of units reporting to the Provost from 17 to three.
Some consolidations have already taken place and other realignments are taking shape. Thomas earlier announced consolidation of the Fine and Performing Arts and Literature and Languages Divisions, to create a Humanities Division. The three major technology-related units on campus have also consolidated into one entity: The current Information Technology (IT) Department, the Educational Technology Center (ETC), and the technology components of Extended Programs (EP) have combined to become the new Information Technology Department.
Herbst indicated other potential changes, including consolidating the NAIA World Series component with the Athletic Department, reconfiguration of some enrollment management functions, and formally attaching the Small Business Development Center and Idaho Virtual Incubator to the college’s Business Division.
Regarding the changes and efforts associated with them, Herbst said: “At the end of the day, we hope the new organization will do a number of things—clarify responsibilities and authorities, improve coordination and define roles and missions for key individuals and units…. We’ll be a little leaner, with a team whose members have more situational awareness and the ability to be more responsive and effective.”
State College, 500 8th Avenue, Lewiston, ID 83501 (208) 792-5272