JOHNSON CITY - With Dr. Ronald Franks' departure from East Tennessee State University's health affairs division on the horizon, ETSU President Paul Stanton announced Tuesday that he would reorganize his administration and move another vice president into Franks' slot.
Dr. Wilsie Bishop, ETSU vice president for administration and chief operating officer since January 2005, will succeed Franks as vice president for health affairs to oversee ETSU's medical, nursing and pharmacy colleges and her former unit, the College of Public and Allied Health.
"I'm excited about it," Bishop said Tuesday, adding that she looked forward to being back in the health field. "I think it's a lot of opportunities."
Bishop, who will retain some of her current duties as chief operating officer, said she had enjoyed her 2Â½ years in administration, so she had to think about it when Stanton asked her to consider a return to health affairs.
"I didn't have to think too long," she said, adding that she considered the new job another opportunity to do some good for the university.
Franks recently accepted a similar health sciences post at the University of South Alabama and resigned from ETSU. After nine years as ETSU's vice president for health affairs and medical dean, Franks left ETSU's James H. Quillen College of Medicine in September to concentrate full time on the expanding vice presidential role.
If approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents staff, Stanton's plan would be implemented June 1 while keeping the split between the vice president's office in health affairs and the medical dean's post.
"The restructuring allows us to re-examine a number of critical areas and take advantage of streamlining several units to enhance cost efficiency and effectiveness," Stanton said in a news release. "Dr. Bishop's superb experience in all areas of administration, and, in particular, her strengths within the health sciences arena, make her the ideal choice for this vital post in a rapidly evolving division here at ETSU."
In nearly 30 years at ETSU, Bishop has served as dean of the College of Public and Allied Health, associate vice president for health affairs, assistant vice president for academic affairs and acting chairwoman of the baccalaureate degree nursing program.
By going back to health affairs, Bishop will return to guide a project she helped initiate while she was public and allied health dean. The college is splitting into two units: the state's first College of Public Health and the College of Allied Health Sciences. Having the separate public health college will make the university eligible for significant federal grants for expanded research and health initiatives in the region.
"That (the transition) was one of the hardest things for me to leave when I left public health," Bishop said, adding that she had continued to be involved in the college split at a distance. She said she was pleased her new role would allow her to work closely with Public Health Dean Randy Wykoff to see the change to fruition.
Retaining her title of chief operating officer, Bishop will continue to oversee facilities planning and act as the president's liaison to ETSU's intercollegiate athletics office.
Stanton plans to eliminate the post of vice president for administration, divvying up many of Bishop's responsibilities among other vice presidents.
â€¢ETSU Provost Bert Bach will assume responsibility for ETSU's student affairs division and academic technology support.
â€¢Dr. Steve Bader, senior associate vice president and chief student affairs officer will become the university's new vice provost and chief student affairs officer.
â€¢ ETSU Vice President for Business and Finance David Collins will become vice president for finance and administration. He will assume responsibility for facilities management, human resources, the Staff Senate, public safety and information technology.
In another aspect of the reorganization, Stanton's executive assistant, Dr. Jane M. Jones, will take on an additional title and new responsibilities as Bishop's new associate vice president for health affairs.
Stanton said in the news release that Jones was quite familiar with the operations of the university's division of health sciences, as she had served as an assistant dean for curriculum in the Quillen College of Medicine; director of the Kellogg Interdisciplinary Curriculum for Medicine, Nursing, and Public and Allied Health; and a nursing faculty member early in her career.