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Published: Wednesday, 7/26/2006

UT official chosen as interim provost, V.P. for academics

Sheehan Sheehan

The University of Toledo named an interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs yesterday to replace Alan Goodridge, who announced his resignation Friday.

Robert Sheehan, the senior vice provost for academic affairs, will be the interim provost for the next year, taking over an administrative position that has changed with the July 1 merger of UT and the Medical University of Ohio.

"The University of Toledo is going to make great strides in coming together," Mr. Sheehan said. "This is going to be a very different university for faculty and students a year from now, and a very good one."

Mr. Sheehan, who holds a Ph.D. in educational research and statistics, has worked at the Ohio Board of Regents, Cleveland State University, Purdue University, and the University of Virginia.

As interim provost, his salary will increase 20 percent to $180,000, a figure that equals the official 2002 provost salary.

Mr. Sheehan worked four years under Mr. Goodridge, whose letter of resignation stated that his leadership and management styles "differ greatly" from UT's new president, Dr. Lloyd Jacobs.

Mr. Sheehan plans to examine faculty and staffing needs, evaluate the university's strategic planning, and provide a sense of institutional memory during the merger's implementation.

"He's got a perfect mix of continuity and willingness to lead into the future," said Dr. Jacobs, who previously was president of MUO.

UT will begin to assemble a search committee for a permanent replacement during the next week, Dr. Jacobs said. The position is different from when Mr. Goodridge came on board in 2002.

With the merger, academic affairs was split between Mr. Goodridge and Dr. Jeffrey Gold, the provost and executive vice president of health affairs, a position that oversees the university's medical-related colleges.

Also, enrollment services has moved from direct control by academic affairs to the university's marketing department. Total enrollment at a premerger UT dropped to 19,201 in 2005 from 20,889 in 2002.

Carter Wilson, the chairman of the UT faculty senate and a political science professor, was enthusiastic about the interim appointment of Mr. Sheehan.

"Rob has the level of experience and clout needed to lead the main campus at this critical juncture," Mr. Wilson said.

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