Key administrative changes announced with Ryan’s transition

Ryan to start Aug. 1, search for new U.Va. provost and chief operating officer to begin this spring

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James E. Ryan was named as the University's next president in September. He is currently the dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and previously taught at the University of Virginia's School of Law. 

Joshua Zabin | Cavalier Daily

President-elect James E. Ryan’s transition will be accompanied by key changes in the University’s administrative leadership, according to a community-wide email Monday morning. Ryan said he is forming two committees this spring to search for a new University provost and chief operating officer. 

Provost Thomas Katsouleas is stepping down and will serve until his successor can begin. According to the email, Katsouleas was originally planning to leave the position at the end of the 2017-18 academic year but will remain in his role during the search process. Earlier this year, Katsouleas was notably a finalist to be the next president of the University of Utah, but Utah administrator Ruth Watkins was ultimately hired for the job.

The email also noted that Chief Operating Officer Pat Hogan will be retiring in June 2019 and will serve until his successor is hired. Hogan has served in this position since October 2012. 

“I have been incredibly fortunate to work alongside colleagues whose dedication to our University runs deep and who bring expertise in a variety of areas that are critical to running our large and complex enterprise,” Hogan said in an email to The Cavalier Daily. “Our Operations team has taken on great challenges together and made bold decisions to change and continually improve the ways in which we serve the University community.”

In an email Tuesday, Katsouleas said, “Every new leader needs the opportunity to build their own leadership team. I am delighted that President Ryan has asked me to stay on during transition. I look forward to working with him and doing all I can to make his transition successful.” 

Hogan and Katsouleas hold positions covering a wide range of areas — the chief operating officer oversees the financial affairs of the University and the Medical Center, and the provost directs the academic administration for all 11 of U.Va.’s schools, libraries, art museums and more.

“Both Tom and Pat have served the University with distinction, and their willingness to stay in their roles to ensure a smooth transition is a source of comfort to me personally and further evidence of their steadfast commitment to the University,” Ryan said in the email. 

Ryan also said in the email that he will succeed Teresa Sullivan as University President on Aug. 1 — two months earlier than the originally anticipated start date of Oct. 1. 

He cited family-related reasons for the initial Oct. 1 start date and said that the Board of Visitors had agreed to this. 

“While those family considerations remain, it is clear to me that starting on August 1 is the right thing to do for the University, given the rhythm of the academic year,” Ryan said. “I have discussed this with my family, and they are all on board.”

Ryan also named former Law School Dean John Jeffries as senior vice president for advancement. Jeffries will start in the role Aug. 1 and serve for three years, according to Ryan’s email. 

Jeffries will work on the University’s upcoming capital campaign. 

“As dean, John was highly effective at development and helped the Law School break school and national records for the level of alumni participation in annual giving campaigns,” Ryan said. “John will work alongside Vice President for Advancement Mark Luellen to help build upon the important momentum already underway as the University prepares for the campaign launch.”

In preparation for his presidency, Ryan said he has been reading briefings and talking to various faculty members from different schools and organizations on Grounds. In addition, he has been having regular meetings with Sullivan to assist with his transition into her position. He said in his email that he hopes to continue these discussions and visit all of the schools, including U.Va.’s College at Wise, over the course of this semester. 

“President Sullivan and I will continue to have regular conversations over the course of the transition, and I appreciate her willingness to help me as I prepare to step into the role,” Ryan said. 

In an interview with The Cavalier Daily in February, Sullivan described Ryan’s preparation for the role.  

“He’s planning to spend about two days a month here in Charlottesville where he’s got a schedule of meetings, so he’ll visit every school and talk to their dean, visit with major units at the University and have an opportunity to have meals with people and get to know folks,” Sullivan said. “He knows a lot of people already since he lived in Charlottesville until just four years ago, so he’s not meeting everybody for the first time.”

Ryan currently serves as dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He previously taught at the University of Virginia’s School of Law from 1998 to 2013.

This article has been updated with comments from Hogan and Katsouleas. 

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