Hurley and Others Prepare for Change
By BRITTANY DEVRIES
With three senior-level administrative positions held by interim officials during the academic year, the University of Mary Washington was finally able to permanently fill one of these positions Monday, announcing Judy G. Hample as the eighth University president.
“This is not to say that we didn’t perform day to day business and responsibilities very well under our acting president,” said Nina Mikhalevsky, interim provost and vice president for strategy and policy.
Mikhalevsky was appointed acting provost in July 2007, three months after Richard Hurley, vice president of administration, finance, and legislative affairs, was appointed to acting president.
“I find it a curiosity that the appointment came at a time to also have an acting president,” Mikhalevsky said. “It was very unusual.”
Rosemary Barra, acting vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty, began both senior level interim positions in 2004 when former dean Phil Hall retired.
Barra said that under Acting President Hurley, a lot has been done in the past year for the University and the students.
“He is clearly interested in the University. He stepped in and did a very good job with interacting with everyone, including administration, students, and faculty members,” Barra said.
During the introduction to Hample’s first address Monday, Hurley said he would consider being the president or vice president at another institution later in his career.
“I enjoyed it more than I thought,” Hurley said.
When Hurley became acting president, Richard Pearce, associate vice president of business and finance, assumed some of Hurley’s former responsibilities.
“I assumed some of the tasks that Mr. Hurley would normally have performed prior to becoming acting president,” Pearce said. “These generally involved special projects.”
Though many of Hurley’s administrative procedures were first implemented by William Frawley before he left office spring 2007, Barra said that not all of them were.
“As far as land purchases go, he made a lot of decisions in those capacities. He was not just following a plan set in motion by Frawley,” Barra said.
In her first speech in Dodd Auditorium March 10, Hample made it very clear that she does not wish to see the Arts and Sciences campus grow any larger in terms of its enrollment numbers
“We want to expand in terms of the academic,” Hample said. “One of the things I love about this institution is its size.”
An official nationwide search for candidates must be conducted by the University before any faculty or staff member can reach permanent status.
Mikhalevsky said that it is among the duties of the president in office to make such decisions.
“Frawley made it very clear that he was going to look at the senior staff while in office here,” Mikhalevsky said. “I assume Dr. Hample will do the same.”
Pearce said he would like to see those officials in interim positions maintain their status after the official search has been conducted.
Barra would not provide comment.
Mikhalevsky also commented on Hurley’s treatment of decisions normally placed in the hands of an official university president.
“He has been very sensitive to that,” she said. “He has shown real leadership in making sure that his acting role would not prevent the University from moving forward, and he has been very thoughtful about decisions that he knew the president would want to make.”
When the school switched from college to university status, the Faculty Organization Plan proposed the creation of an office of a Provost, to create an administrative structure that would serve the needs of a new utility, Mikhalevsky said.
Mikhalevsky said she did not know why it took so long to implement the plan.
“There were other changes that were implemented much earlier,” she said.