NASHVILLE - The University of Tennessee system today announced four finalists in their search a new vice president for Academic Affairs and Student Success.
Among them is David Rausch, current vice provost for academic affairs at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Rausch is also UTC's director of the School of Professional Studies, according to a UT system news release.
Finalists will visit Knoxville for meetings with members of the University's leadership team, direct reports and chief academic officers from across the UT System.
Public forums won't be part of the process, officials say. But officials say they intend to solicit feedback on finalists through the search website. The post new vice president will report to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Tonjanita Johnson.
The person selected will work closely with various campus chief academic and student affairs officers to oversee those activities for the UT system. Duties include coordinating mission statements, academic strategic plans, establishment and revision of academic organizations and admission, progression and retention standards.
The vice president serves as staff to the Academic Affairs and Student Success Committee of the UT Board of Trustees, the University Life Committee of the UT Board of Trustees and the Subcommittee on Non-Academic Programs.
"Delivering quality education, enhancing the living and learning experience on our campuses and positioning our students for success in everything they do are central to our mission as a statewide system of higher education," Johnson said in a news release. "The vice president is critical to our ability to achieve our goals and is an essential member our leadership team."
The full list of finalists are:
* Risa Dickson, vice president for academic planning and policy for the University of Hawaii System from 2015 to present. Before that, Dickson spent 24 years at California State University, San Bernardino holding various leadership positions, including serving as associate provost for academic personnel. Other past positions held include executive assistant to the president for planning and special programs associate, dean for the College of Arts and Letters and chair of the Department of Communication Studies. Dickson earned a bachelor's degree in communication theory from California State University. She earned a master's degree in communication and a doctorate in interpersonal and organizational communication from the University of Southern California.
* Linda Martin, director of the Second-Year Transformational Experience Program at Ohio State University since 2014. Martin also has served as the Sanford G. Price and Isabelle P. Barbee Endowed Chair for Teaching, Advising and Learning since and as associate dean and director for academic programs for the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State. Previously, she served as assistant dean for academic programs for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University. Martin began her career in higher education as a faculty member at Kansas State University. She earned a bachelor's degree from Ohio State University, a master's degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a doctorate from Colorado State University — all three in animal science.
* John Omachonu, senior vice provost for academic affairs at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. He previously served in various leadership roles at Middle Tennessee State University for 11 years, including as vice provost for academic affairs and chief diversity officer. Also at MTSU, Omachonu served as interim vice provost for academic affairs. He chaired the communication department at William Paterson University in New Jersey from 2000 to 2004. Omachonu also spent approximately 20 years serving in various faculty capacities at Fort Valley State University in Georgia, Florida A&M University, Bethune-Cookman University in Florida and Howard University in Washington D.C. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and zoology, a master's degree in mass communication and a doctorate in mass communication — all three from Howard University.
* Rausch has spent nearly eight years in the UT system, including serving as associate provost for learning outcomes, assessment and accreditation and director and professor in the doctoral program in learning and leadership. He currently holds a non-tenure contract appointment as an associate professor in the Richard DeVos Graduate School of Management at Northwood University in Michigan. Previously, he worked at Macomb Community College in Michigan, serving as director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and associate dean of learning outreach. Prior to his higher education career, Rausch spent some 25 years in the private sector, serving in various marketing and leadership roles. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1978 to 1982. Rausch earned a master's degree in business administration from Sanford University in Alabama and a doctorate in leadership from Andrews University in Michigan.