By Joe D’Antonio
The Catholic University of America made a series of major changes to the administrative staff over the summer. The first announcement came from the President of the University, John Garvey, in an email on June 2nd. The President announced that the position of Provost would be filled by Dr. Andrew V. Abela. Dr. Abela was, up to that point, the Dean of the School of Business and Economics.
Dr. Abela joined the University faculty in 2002 where he taught business courses. In 2009, Dr. Abela was named Chair of the Business and Economics Department, then a department within the School of Arts and Sciences. Then in 2013, Dr. Abela was named the first Dean of the new School of Business and Economics.
“I have three priorities as provost. The first is to continue to strengthen the mission of the University, primarily by continuing to drive forward the implementation of the University’s Strategic Plan. The second is to strengthen the academic area’s approach to budgets, which I believe needs improvement to bring greater clarity and transparency. The third is to update many of the management processes within the academic area, to allow us to make decisions more efficiently and quickly. It may sound boring, but it is necessary in order to allow us to provide better support to our faculty and students. If we – I have in mind our academic administrators – commit to making these changes, it will free up energy and resources that we can place in the service of our students and faculty,” said Abela.
The School of Business and Economics will be led by Dr. Brian Engelland as Interim Dean. Dr. Englland is an associate at the School of Business and Economics as well as a marketing professor.
The June 2nd email also announced the approval of the Board of Trustees to hire Scott Rembold to the position of Vice President for University Advancement, and the appointment of Christopher Lydon as Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing. Mr. Rembold previously worked as Associate Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations at Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Lydon previously worked as Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts.
The school also saw the departures of two key administrators. The President announced in an email on June 3rd the departure of Vice President for Finance and Treasurer, Cathy Wood, and Dr. Sara Thompson, Dean of the Metropolitan School of Professional Studies and Associate Provost for New Program Initiatives. The Metropolitan School of Professional Studies will be led by interim Dean Dr. Will Rainford.
Dr. Abela believes that these new administrators will help to fix the University’s funding problems.
“I think our main challenge is funding. In this area I am very encouraged by our two new vice presidents, Scott Rembold who is running Advancement, and Chris Lydon who is running Enrollment Services and Marketing. Both bring great experience and sound judgment to areas of our University that have immediate impact on our financial well being.”
As the academic year continues, it will be important to watch for any other changes to the administration, as well as who takes over the vacant positions left by these changes.