The Dream Team
By Joel Seligman
In this issue we celebrate the appointments of Ralph Kuncl, our new provost, and Doug Lowry, the new dean of the Eastman School. You will read about their remarkable careers and have a sense of why they were each so broadly supported by the search committees that were involved in their selection.
Ralph and Doug join a stellar team of senior administrators at the University, a veritable “dream team” of talent who will provide the leadership for the next great period in our University’s history. Let me highlight some of these remarkable leaders.
Ron Paprocki, our senior vice president for administration and finance and chief financial officer, has a wide scope of responsibility. For the past year, Ron has worked closely with the University Facilities Committee, chaired by Roger Friedlander ’56, on a draft Campus Master Plan which will be coordinated with our academic division and University strategic plans.
Brad Berk, the senior vice president for health sciences and chief executive officer of the Medical Center, will celebrate his first year in that pivotal position on August 1 with a presentation of the Medical Center’s draft strategic plan to the Board of Trustees Strategic Planning Advisory Committee. In Brad’s first year, the Medical Center hospitals have continued to be models of effective management; the School of Medicine and Dentistry received an extraordinary $40 million Clinical and Translational Science Award last October; and several important facilities projects, including the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, continue on time and on budget.
Peter Lennie, senior vice president and dean of the faculty of arts, sciences, and engineering, also celebrates his first year on the job this summer. In his outstanding first year, the College again has enjoyed record applications, dedicated the Robert B. Goergen Hall for Biomedical Engineering and Optics, its first new academic facility in 20 years, and made significant progress toward the presentation of its first draft strategic plan to the Strategic Planning Advisory Committee on August 1.
Doug Phillips, our senior vice president for institutional resources, is a national leader in university endowment management. For several years our endowment returns have consistently been at or above that of our peers both because of the thoughtful due diligence that Doug and his team have employed in portfolio manager recommendations and because Doug has been instrumental in assembling a world-class investment committee.
Jim Thompson, our senior vice president and chief advancement officer, also anticipates reporting a record year. We have a long way to go to achieve our goals in advancement, but under Jim’s leadership this past year we have put together an outstanding senior team and begun a new George Eastman Circle to recognize our most generous donors.
Bill Murphy, our vice president for communications, has already made a positive impact on internal communications, publications, and press relations. Early this fall, following an inclusive process, his staff will unveil our new graphic identity.
Paul Burgett, our vice president and senior advisor to the president, chaired the search committee that led to the appointment of Doug Lowry as Eastman dean. Paul has been a part of the University community for more than 43 years or, as he likes to say, since the Earth’s crust started to cool. His patience and sensitivity in this search may have made this among his finest orchestrations.
Sue Stewart, senior vice president and general counsel, is a relative newcomer, having joined the University in 2003 after a career at the leading law firm of Nixon Peabody, culminating in a period as managing partner. As with so many in the senior leadership group, the scope of her responsibilities is wide, including matters related to risk management, employee relations, intellectual property, and technology transfer.
We are blessed also with outstanding deans and other great senior leaders. University leadership works best when it combines broad and informed discussion of pivotal issues with clear accountability for administration. In my itinerant experience working at five other universities during the past 29 years, the University of Rochester has the strongest and most talented leadership team that I have ever seen.
To Ralph and Doug, welcome aboard!