System office expands staff

The Nebraska State College System earlier this week took steps to expand its executive arm by phasing out its sole associate vice chancellor position and accepting applications for a another full-time vice chancellorship in its place.

The NSCS employed Chadron State’s former vice president for academic affairs, Lois Veath Podobnik, as associate vice chancellor for academic planning and partnerships starting in 2012 at .62 FTE. The System Office announced Monday that the position would be a full-time one starting July 1.

“When she [Veath Podobnik] retired from Chadron, she wanted something part time and that was when it was a 62 percent position,” Korinne Tande, vice chancellor for student affairs, marketing, enrollment & public information said Monday.

Veath Podobnik’s current contract runs until June 30; however, she stated via email Wednesday that she will not be reapplying for the position.

“From the beginning, the Chancellor and I had the understanding that this was a temporary situation designed to experiment with repurposing a 0.62 FTE vacancy within the system office,” Veath Podobnik stated. “It is time for the system to seek a permanent, full-time individual to live in Lincoln and expand on the fledgling projects that have begun and to seek new and additional innovative opportunities. I will not be applying for this newly reconfigured full-time position.”

Some of Veath Podobnik’s “fledgling projects” her successor may undertake include dual enrollment between regional high schools and CSC, advancing the use of open educational resources in curricula decisions, and working with government and industry to predict new academic majors for the state colleges to offer.

The hiring announcement stressed innovation and the ability to respond to changing conditions, both aspects that Tande echoed in her Monday interview.

Tande said the position requires analytical thinking and would be the decision-maker in what majors each of Nebraska’s three state colleges offer.

“We never stay with the same program,” Tande said. “As the world changes, we try to change with it.”

Tande said the new position will look at what industries need and will try to suggest majors based on upcoming needs.

Each college’s academic vice president has more internal, pressing concerns than determining which majors to offer, Tande said.

“Our vice presidents at the colleges have more immediate concerns whether it’s evaluating faculty or working on accreditation, which is becoming more time consuming,” Tande said. “Instead of having an individual person at each college try do what this position will, it’s more economical to expand this position to full time and have someone look at each college’s needs but also from a system standpoint.”

Tande said she did not know how many applicants had applied or what salary the NSCS would offer, but that compensation would be based on experience.

“We want it to be competitive,” Tande said. “It’s going to be full time now and be a vice chancellor; chances are it’s going to be comparative, but again, it will depend on experience.”

The four vice chancellors at the NSCS currently make an average of $113,683 for the 2012-13 academic year.

Tande said she anticipates a search committee with representatives from each college would select the new vice chancellor.

“I suspect it will be kinda of a joint decision,” Tande said. “We’ll all get a chance to meet the candidate. There will be a couple of us here [in the system office] assigned, and then a person from each college would be involved.”

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