Strategic Alignment and Focused Vision

Published: September 6, 2016

Deborah L. FordWelcome to the Fall 2016 semester and the beginning of our 48th year of providing quality, public higher education in southeastern Wisconsin!

The beginning of every academic year brings excitement, new energy, and change – this year is no exception. As many of you know, Dr. Kim Kelley started a new role as provost at Montgomery College in Maryland. Kim provided our university with excellent leadership over a broad array of essential functions. When Kim announced her departure, I asked Provost Rob Ducoffe, Associate Provost Gary Wood, and Dean of Students Tammy McGuckin to explore new opportunities to strengthen the alignment of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs while reassigning Kim's responsibilities to existing positions.

I am pleased to report that Rob, Gary and Tammy have completed this work and, effective immediately, UW-Parkside will benefit from a fully integrated Academic and Student Affairs model.

Provost Ducoffe will now oversee Academic Affairs and Student Affairs with Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Gary Wood, and Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services Tammy McGuckin.

Gary will have responsibility for:

  • Distance Education;
  • Assessment and Accreditation;
  • Adult Programs;
  • General Education;
  • the Teaching and Learning Center;
  • the Institute of Professional Educator Development (IPED);
  • Research and Sponsored Programs;
  • Institutional Research; and
  • the Honors Program.

Tammy will have responsibility for:

  • Student Affairs;
  • Admissions;
  • Financial Aid;
  • the Registrar's Office; and
  • Persistence and Completion.

I am confident that this integration will further enhance our efforts toward increased student success.

A few of our colleagues have accepted expanded leadership roles that more closely align with existing and new duties.

Steve Wallner will serve as the Dean of Students with responsibility for:

  • Housing and Residence Life;
  • the Student Center;
  • International Student Services and Study Abroad;
  • Health, Counseling, and Disability Services; and
  • Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Damian Evans will serve as the Assistant Dean of Students overseeing:

  • Orientation and Placement Testing;
  • Student Support Services;
  • the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA);
  • new Upward Bound/PreCollege initiatives;
  • the Parkside Academic Resource Center (PARC); and
  • the Fearn House – an exciting new learning community.

DeAnn Possehl will continue to provide leadership with Kenosha Strive and Higher Expectations in Racine, while serving UW-Parkside as the lead for Persistence and Completion.

Abey Kuruvilla will continue to identify strategic partnerships and collaborations with international institutions, and will expand his duties to partner with our Admissions team to recruit and enroll more international students.

Karen Grabher will provide full-time administrative support for John Jaraczewski and the UW-Parkside Foundation.

Lori King will provide administrative support for Tammy McGuckin.

In their book "Reframing Academic Leadership," Lee Bolman and Joan Gallos point out the importance of, "…having the right structure in place to maximize support and minimize barriers to the work that must be done, and creating structures that pull things together efficiently and effectively. Strong academic leaders recognize that structures change and evolve as people and organizations do, and they are willing to revise the structure when necessary."

I appreciate Rob, Gary and Tammy's leadership in developing the right structure for our university and the success of our students. As we begin another exciting academic year, please take a few moments to reflect on our mission, our hallmarks, and our Pillars of Excellence.

UW-Parkside Mission
The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is committed to high-quality educational programs, creative and scholarly activities, and services responsive to its diverse student population, and its local, national and global communities.

Living our Mission
The hallmarks of Academic Excellence, Student Success, Diversity and Inclusion, and Community Engagement support and guide our good work at UW-Parkside. The Pillars of Excellence Report clearly illustrates how our mission, vision and integrated teamwork provide a diverse, inclusive and relevant learning environment.

Debbie Ford

Scroll to top
Who Are You?