Organizational changes designed to help Palm Beach State College better focus on student success and quality customer service were announced by President Ava L. Parker recently in her first State of the College address to faculty and staff.
In a broad leadership restructuring, Parker is expanding the role of provost, the chief administrator for each campus, to include college-wide responsibilities as vice presidents, as well as a campus reassignment for three of them.
She also announced a new vice president position to oversee information technology and the implementation of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Most of the changes will take effect May 1.
“Shifting our organizational structure will help us achieve consistently high service to our students across the college,” Parker said. “If we focus on student success, quality completion, collaboration and innovation, we will be a college with a high-performing culture.”
Role changes for current college leaders include:
• Dr. Ginger Pedersen, currently the interim vice president for academic affairs, will assume the new position of vice president of information services and ERP implementation.
• Dr. Jean Wihbey, now the Palm Beach Gardens campus provost, will become the vice president for workforce development and provost of the Lake Worth campus.
• Dr. Maria Vallejo, Lake Worth campus provost, will become the vice president for growth and expansion and provost of the Belle Glade and Loxahatchee Groves campuses.
• Dr. Holly Bennett, currently Belle Glade campus provost, will serve as vice president for institutional effectiveness and provost of the Palm Beach Gardens campus.
• Dr. Bernadette Russell will become the vice president for e-Learning and will continue to serve as provost of the Boca Raton campus.
Existing vice president positions in academic affairs, student services and business services will remain with some shifting of responsibilities and oversight areas.
In introducing the changes, Parker pointed to common threads that have emerged in her interactions with college faculty and staff, students and the community since she assumed the presidency last July.
Campus listening sessions, face-to-face meetings, student and employee surveys, and other forums helped her identify priorities to be addressed.
Other upcoming initiatives announced in Parker’s address include plans for creating a method for students to identify their major early on; providing opportunities for faculty to be more involved in student advising; expanding advisors dedicated to programs; establishing a customer relations/service team; increasing leadership training; and creating more gathering spaces for students.
Serving more than 48,000 students annually, Palm Beach State College is the largest institution of higher education in Palm Beach County.
For more information, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu.