Dr. Robert Vela is taking on the duties of interim vice president of academic affairs as well as keeping his position as vice president of student affairs.
Vela started the position July 2, according to an announcement by President Robert Zeigler in an email June 28.
Vela’s new title will be vice president of student affairs and interim vice president of academic affairs.
The vice president of academic affairs position was left vacant after Dr. Jessica Howard left June 28 to be president of the Southeast Campus of Portland Community College in Oregon.
Vela will “take both tasks for the time we are searching,” Zeigler said at the June 27 Faculty Senate meeting.
“I don’t have to pull someone from being a department chair or a faculty member, or whatever it is and then have to replace them with someone I pulled from somewhere else and then have to replace them,” Zeigler said.
Vela said he plans to handle the job by getting help from the deans.
He said there is a “team approach” to this job because he will be able to reach out the deans, chairs and program coordinators for assistance.
He said the work will be “distributed back down,” rather than one person stepping up and doing all the work.
“We’re kind of spreading it all out,” he said. “Everyone is stepping up.”
Vela said July 3 that although there is more work, he has not seen much of a difference yet but he expects to be busier as the fall semester draws closer.
Vela started as the dean of student affairs in 2008 and was named vice president of student affairs a year later.
He served as the interim district director of center for student information, as well as vice president of academic affairs, from February 2010 to October 2010.
Zeigler said Vela is familiar with academic affairs because he worked alongside Howard.
“It seems that’s the least disruptive way to deal with this,” Zeigler said. “We are convinced we will make this work.”
Vela will physically remain in his office in Room 309 of Fletcher Administration Center, but work from academic affairs will originate from the academic affairs office in the president’s suite on the same floor, he said.
For district meetings, Vela will alternate between attending district student services and academic affairs meetings usually scheduled Mondays .
For instance, one Monday he will function as vice president of student affairs and the next week he will be interim vice president of academic affairs, he said.
Zeigler said Vela will not be the next vice president of academic affairs and the college will not go back to a single vice president, commonly known as an executive vice president.
In the email, Zeigler said the college already has started advertising the position internally and externally.
He said he hopes to have the position filled by the end of the year in time for the spring semester.
Zeigler said in the past it has been hard to fill the executive vice president position because responsibilities included both student affairs and academic affairs.
Now, the position is easier, and it is an “attractive job,” he said.
“The pay isn’t great, but the opportunity is,” Zeigler said.
According to the fiscal year 2010-11 operating budget, the salary for the vice president of academic affairs was $106,080.
Zeigler said he does not know of potential internal candidates because no one has told him they are interested.