New fiscal year brings internal changes

July 3, 2012

With the dawn of the new fiscal year on July 1, the month is an ideal time for transitions.

“We have some new faces,” said Emporia State President Dr. Michael D. Shonrock, “and some familiar faces in new places.”

The new face is DenaSue Potestio, president of the Emporia State University Foundation and vice-president for university advancement. Potestio came from Colorado State University-Pueblo.

Familiar faces moving to new roles are:

  • Dr. Tes Mehring, who has served as provost and vice-president for academic affairs and student life since 2008, is moving to phased retirement and plans to return to the classroom in The Teachers College. Mehring came to Emporia State in 1981 as a lecturer in The Teachers College. During her tenure, she has been named a Roe R. Cross Professor, received the Ruth R. Schillinger Award for serving as an outstanding mentor to women at Emporia State, received the Outstanding Research and Outstanding Teacher awards from The Teachers College and received the Xi Phi Outstanding Faculty Award chosen by Emporia State students.
  • Dr. Gwen Alexander, dean of the School of Library and Information Management, will serve as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. Alexander is the longest-serving dean at Emporia State.
  • Dr. Jim Williams moves from associate provost for enrollment management and vice president for strategic partnerships to vice president for student affairs. Williams will lead Emporia State’s enrollment management and student life initiatives.
  • Dr. Kevin Johnson, associate professor in the School of Business, will provide part-time legal assistance for the university as a search continues to replace Tracy Greene, Emporia State’s general counsel who took a similar position at the South Dakota State University.
  • Dr. Ken Weaver is the new dean of The Teachers College, replacing Dr. Phil Bennett, who retired. Weaver joined The Teachers College faculty in 1986 after a stint as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines and classroom science teacher in South Carolina.
  • Dr. John Rich, associate professor of accounting and information systems, will serve as interim dean of the School of Business, replacing Dr. Joseph Wen, who took a deanship at California State University in Dominquez Hills, Calif. Rich has served at Emporia State for 40 years.
  • Bill Noblitt, director of Marketing and Media Relations, will now report directly to Shonrock, a change that moves the department to the center of university activities. Under Noblitt’s direction, the department is key to future strategic planning and is preparing to launch a new look for Emporia State’s website and stationery as the university prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary.

As Emporia State moves forward, the university plans to contract with a national search firm to fill the positions of provost and vice-president for academic affairs and dean of the School of Business.

“It’s an exciting time to be a Hornet,” Shonrock said. “Emporia State has been changing lives since 1863.”

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