Office of the Board of Trustees Reorganizes to Enhance and Support University Governance
Richard L. Thompson, Chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees, today announced several appointments that will enhance the Office of the Board of Trustees and support the efficient governance of the University.
Lisa A. Dolak, the Angela S. Cooney Professor of Law, has been appointed Interim Secretary to the Board of Trustees while the search for this position continues. The Secretary to the Board oversees trustee relations, supports the overall work of the Board and manages the Office of the Board of Trustees. Dolak will continue her teaching duties at the College of Law while serving as Interim Secretary, and report to Chairman Thompson.
“I’m honored Chairman Thompson has asked me to step in and assist in supporting the University’s leaders,” says Dolak. “Through my work on the Strategic Plan Steering Committee I have come to know more intimately where the challenges and opportunities for universities are today. This is an exciting time of change and I’m eager to play an active role in Syracuse University’s future.”
As is the case with most colleges and universities, governance and oversight roles of trustees must align with the institutional mission and strategic planning. In recent years, the Office of the Board of Trustees has evolved from a focus on record keeping and meeting planning to an integral information and communication center in service to the Trustees and senior University leaders.
The office is responsible for coordinating all Board meetings and annual retreats, managing committees, recording and maintaining documentation of all Board actions and is the custodian of the charter and bylaws of the University.
In August, David C. Smith, a longtime University leader and former Vice President for Administrative Planning, agreed to serve as Interim Secretary to the Board through the end of 2014.
“I very much appreciate David Smith’s valuable commitment to the University during these past several months,” says Chancellor Kent Syverud. “I am confident these changes David helped develop will create an even more effective Office of the Board of Trustees under the leadership of Professor Dolak and the outstanding staff within the Office.”
“We are so grateful to David for adjusting his retirement plans and serving the University in our time of transition,” says Thompson. “David built a long and successful career here and demonstrated once again his sincere commitment to the University, our mission and our students. He helped develop a productive new structure for the Office that Professor Dolak and her team will advance moving forward.”
In recognition of their loyal service to the office and their continued excellent work during the evolution of the office, three current staff members have been promoted to new positions effective immediately.
Rachel Harms has been named Associate Secretary and Executive Director. As Associate Secretary and Executive Director Harms is responsible for the effective management, planning and directing of financial, administrative and operational activities of the Office of the Board of Trustees, working closely with the Secretary to assist in the coordination and facilitation of the activities of the Board of Trustees.
In addition, Tressa Sobotka has been promoted to Executive Administrator and Beth Mahoney has been promoted to Information Technology Manager.