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President’s Page

The New Team By Joel Seligman
presidentKEY PLAYERS: Hajim School Dean Rob Clark (left), who will become provost, and Senior Associate Vice President Holly Crawford, who will become senior vice president, CFO, and treasurer, have played key roles in the University’s success, says President and CEO Joel Seligman. (Photo: Adam Fenster)

I was delighted to make important announcements in October about two of the University’s most consequential senior leaders.

With the unanimous support of the Board of Trustees at the October board meeting, I am appointing Rob Clark to succeed Peter Lennie as provost of our University effective July 1, 2016. Rob will continue as senior vice president for research. On June 30, 2016, Rob will complete his service as dean of the Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences. We will soon begin a national search for a successor as dean of the Hajim School.

Both as senior vice president for research and dean of the Hajim School, Rob’s service has been exemplary. During the past seven years under Rob’s leadership, the Hajim School has more than doubled undergraduate enrollment while increasing the size of the faculty and significantly increasing the number of students enrolled in master’s programs. At the start of Rob’s time as dean, the Hajim School assumed responsibility for computer science. In 2014, Rettner Hall became operational, including a new fabrication facility, computer labs, and audio and video recording studios. Wegmans Hall, which will house the Goergen Institute for Data Science, is now under construction and will be dedicated in October 2016.

As senior vice president for research, Rob developed and is now implementing our first University-wide Research Strategic Plan. He has expanded the role of UR Ventures to better manage our intellectual property portfolio and supervised our online learning initiatives. Notably, he led our successful effort to be a founding member of AIM Photonics, which has helped secure more than $600 million in support from the federal and state governments as well as private industry to support a national consortium to accelerate development of United States advanced photonics manufacturing.

Also with the unanimous support of the trustees at our board meeting earlier this month, I appointed Holly Crawford to succeed Ron Paprocki as senior vice president for administration and finance and chief financial officer of our University. Holly today serves as senior associate vice president for budgets and planning and deputy to the senior vice president and CFO. She is Ron’s top associate. Holly’s appointment will begin January 15, 2016, the day Ron Paprocki retires.

The search committees and I were convinced that Holly Crawford was the best candidate for the job. Since beginning at the University in 1998 as director of University Audit, Holly has held ever increasing responsibilities for management of University finances, including serving as University budget director, playing lead roles in several University debt offerings since 2007, leading efforts to secure New Market Tax Credits which were decisive in allowing us to proceed with Eastman Theatre expansion and renovation. In each recent year she has had responsibility for working with the schools in developing and refining their annual budgets. She has been deeply involved in the development of business plans for new projects and in University risk management.

As deputy to Ron since 2007, Holly’s scope was significantly expanded. Since 2009, Holly has worked hand in glove with Ron on every aspect of the College Town project. She coordinated University efforts with respect to the Brooks Crossing residence hall that opened in 2014. When Ron has not been available, Holly has been the University point person for the full gamut of University operational and financial matters.

In working with Holly during the past 10 years, I have been consistently impressed by her intelligence, integrity, and work ethic. She gets things done. She always does them fairly and by listening to all relevant parties.

We have in recent years achieved notable progress in strengthening our finances by increasing our endowment, lowering our tuition increases, achieving an effective balance between our objectives of being an ever better academic university and ensuring that we have sustainable financial resources.

I have no question that under Holly’s leadership this progress will continue. She has helped to develop and implement the systems of administration and finance that have been so consequential in our recent momentum.

It is a testament to the strength of this institution that we were able to find on our own campus two exceptional individuals to fill positions long held by two equally exceptional individuals. I want to express my thanks to Ron Paprocki and to Peter Lennie, and my enthusiasm for working with Holly and Rob in the future.