Search begins for Vice President for Operations

Division of Operations replaces Division of Administration

The Division of Administration is being restructured into a smaller Division of Operations.

The change follows the departure of the current vice president for administration, James Van Voorst, who will be taking the position of vice president for finance and business at the State University of New York at Albany.

The Division of Operations will focus specifically on the operations of Binghamton University, President Harvey Stenger said in an email. “Operations” are the infrastructural aspects that the University needs to run, like information technologies, police and physical facilities.

“I believe this reorganization will make the campus an even more pleasant place to study, live and work,” he wrote.

The new division will continue to oversee many of the functions of the former Division of Administration, including physical facilities, information technologies as well as emergency response and public safety, environmental health and safety, human resources and risk management. All planning, budgeting and financial functions will move to the Division of Academic Affairs.

According to Executive Vice President and Provost Donald Nieman, moving the financial functions to the Division of Academic Affairs will enable the University to make academics the priority, as per the President’s Road Map Initiative. By moving finances to the Division of Academics, the move will help with budgeting for academics.

“What President Stenger is trying to do is align revenues and budgeting more closely with the academic mission of the University,” Neiman said.

With Van Voorst stepping down as Vice President for Administration, the reorganized division will need a Vice President. Neiman is the chair of the search committee for the vice president for operations. The committee includes faculty and staff from various schools and departments.

Although the size of the Division of Operations has been reduced, it remains one of the largest divisions on campus. The vice president will be responsible for leading and managing the staff within the division as well as reporting directly to the President.

Nieman said that his committee is looking for candidates that have strong leadership experience and can work with the many departments and offices that the job requires.

“The Division of Operations provides the infrastructure the serves every aspect of the University,” Nieman said. “The vice president is going to have to be someone who collaborates really well with other vice presidents and people throughout the University.”

The committee is considering current University employees for the vice president position. According to Nieman, the committee is looking at applicants from a wide range of positions around BU.

“We’re casting the net very broadly,” he said. “We think that there are a number of people in the University who have the skills to lead this division and we’re hoping to get as many applications as possible.”

When finalists for the position have been chosen, students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to meet with the finalists to hear their ideas, according to Nieman. These final interviews are not expected to take place until after classes begin in the fall.