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Monday, September 16, 2013

ESUP Executives clarify pathway to new Program Director

We are excited to announce Dennis Wenzel joined the University today as Program Director for ESUP (click here to read the official announcement and Dennis’s CV). Over the next few weeks ESUP will introduce Dennis to the program team and University stakeholders. However, before introducing Dennis, the Program wants to remain transparent and recap the activities of the past five weeks.

On August 9th, the ESUP Executive Oversight Committee (EOC) announced its plan to hire a new program director for ESUP. (Here is a Q & A about this decision,  posted on the ESUP blog on August 21.)

On August 21, the EOC announced it had engaged the services of Aeritae Consulting Group to help them with the hire in two specific areas: 

  • provide an assessment of ESUP and based on the results from that assessment, 
  • identify skill sets, roles, and responsibilities for the new position.

The independent assessment included a series of interviews with members from ESUP’s governance structures, program and project directors, OIT, and work stream members as identified by their project directors. Aeritae delivered their preliminary assessment results on September 10, which included positive reviews of the program as a whole while identifying smaller areas of concern, which is to be expected in a program of this size.  

On September 12, the Program Leadership Team met with the EOC members in an open and candid conversation. In this meeting, the EOC announced the selection of Dennis Wenzel as the new program director, answered questions, and heard concerns and feedback from the program leadership. 

Dean Elde spoke candidly about the challenges an executive team faces in governing a program by committee. These leaders are the final decision-makers in their areas of responsibility, but in a program as broad and important as ESUP, they have been challenged to provide appropriate oversight when there is overlap between those areas. 

The conversation restated that the executives have, and will continue to, take their oversight responsibilities very seriously. They continue to have full confidence and trust in the program. The EOC understands the hard work going into ESUP, and while they know there are formidable demands ahead, they expect the teams will move forward with the excellent work underway. The role of current program directors was not clarified, though the executives restated their strong appreciation for the excellent work that Andrew Hill and Rebecca Collings have done and expressed hope they would continue on the program. 

Finally, the ESUP Executive Oversight Committee expressed confidence the process over the past months has helped them find alignment, and that a new program director will be able to leverage that executive understanding into smooth sailing for program staff.

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