Welcome back after what I hope was an enjoyable and restorative winter break. As we prepare for the spring semester, I write with an update on staff and reporting line changes, specifically within the University Services division.
As I announced last September, Monica Rimai and Jackie Balzer will conclude their service to Willamette on Jan. 5. They leave us having developed skilled and competent teams who will continue the progress they started. The following staff updates make the most of the strengths of our talented staff and provide cost savings through reallocating responsibilities formerly held by Monica and Jackie.
Dan Valles will be vice president for finance and will oversee financial operations, accounting, facilities services, print services and the Service Center. Dan has also been elected treasurer by the Board of Trustees, in which role he will support the board’s management of the university endowment.
Shana Sechrist will be vice president for human resources and risk management, and will retain her role as the university’s deputy general counsel. Shana will continue to oversee human resources as well as payroll, campus safety and the university’s insurance and compliance matters.
To help with organizational clarity and align with other roles, Jackie Barretta will add vice president to her title of chief information officer and report to Carol Long. Carol’s role as Willamette’s primary academic officer is responsible for aligning and enhancing our educational and cocurricular programs to support the university’s long-term vision and strategic plan. Having Jackie and WITS report to Carol creates an opportunity for closer collaboration in determining how technology will support these initiatives. Jim Bauer, vice president for campus planning and external affairs, will also report to Carol, and will use his expertise in planning and community partnerships to complement the work of Carol and others in academic and student affairs to create on- and off-campus opportunities for students and faculty.
As reported before the break, Jade Aguilar, vice president for equity, diversity and inclusion, will become the university’s Title IX coordinator. In addition to utilizing many resources available on campus, Jade will work closely with deputy Title IX coordinators Domanic Thomas on issues related to students and Shana Sechrist on issues related to employees.
Thank you to Dan, Shana, Jackie and Jade for taking on expanded roles on behalf of the university — and thanks to everyone across campus for your support and patience as we make these important changes. I’m confident that these reconfigured roles and responsibilities and realignment of reporting lines will create greater efficiencies and will help set Willamette up for long-term success.