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I hope you will join me in thanking–and saying farewell–to Dr. Jim Gross, whose position as associate provost for academic innovation and strategic initiatives will end with the current academic year.
Jim’s last day will be May 12. A farewell reception in Rochester is planned for the last week in April – details will be shared soon. A reception is also planned in Minneapolis on May 3rd from 10-11:00 am in OGC 100.
We are working to ensure a smooth transition in Rochester and to ensure that the site has the leadership required to continue to strengthen our programs, partnerships, and presence in SE Minnesota. Until that leadership is secured, Ron Blankenship will serve as Interim Director of the Rochester site.
I am grateful for Jim’s commitment and service to Augsburg and for his partnership as a senior academic leader. He has helped develop a strategic plan for Rochester that aligns with Augsburg 2019 and focuses our attention on key priorities: (a) boosting enrollment in existing programs, (b) developing new programs that respond to the needs of the Rochester community, (c) enhancing the teaching and learning environment; (d) enhancing our reputation in SE Minnesota, and (e) positioning the College as a partner with a set of distinctive strengths in a community experiencing rapid growth and transformation. He has demonstrated keen awareness of emerging trends, a deep understanding of the contemporary landscape in higher education, and mature judgment when faced with tough questions. Perhaps most importantly, he has repeatedly shown himself to be a person of integrity, generosity, and character.
Academic program innovation that is aligned with our mission and institutional strengths, and responsive to the regional needs, remains a high strategic priority for the College. We remain committed to fueling the innovative and creative energies of our faculty, staff, and administration as we move forward.