Provost leaving at semester’s end

Dr. Melissa Baumann steps down and an internal search is set to commence 

By Avery Strychasz, Staff Writer

Following a letter from Dr. Colleen Hanycz, president, last Wednesday, university staff were informed that Dr. Melissa Baumann is stepping down from her role as provost and chief academic officer at the end of the semester. 

Xavier’s provost provides insights into academic issues, aids the president and is responsible for budgetary concerns. During her four-year tenure, Baumann has all these tasks and more. 

One of Baumann’s most notable impacts was establishing the College of Nursing and the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program. 

The ABSN program is a 16-month advanced hybrid course offered in Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland. 

Judith Lewis, interim dean of the College of Nursing, spoke to Baumann’s character and impact on the College of Nursing.

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Dr. Melissa Baumann is stepping down from her role as provost and chief academic officer at the end of this semester. President Hanycz’s letter to the faculty and staff did not specify why she is stepping down.

“(Baumann) has provided visionary leadership in fostering diversity, inclusion, innovation and growth, positioning the university’s academic programs for continued excellence in higher education,” Lewis said.

In her letter, Hanycz commented that Baumann was “especially proud of the work that… led in reorganizing the University Planning and Resources Council (UPRC) into a highly participatory and strategic university body.”

The UPRC is the coordinating body between budgetary planning and university needs. 

Their goal is to facilitate and allocate the various resources necessary to improve the financial and personal prospects of Xavier. 

The body is responsible for opening and analyzing the communication on major budgetary issues such as the cost of tuition, enrollment growth and land use. The UPRC was an initiative spearheaded by Baumann and will continue to provide tangible proof of her impact on campus. 

Hanycz’s letter did not specify why Baumann is leaving the Xavier community beyond citing the pursuit of other academic opportunities. 

Hanycz did, however, express sorrow at losing a “seasoned leader and member of (the) senior team,” and wished Baumann luck in her future endeavors.

Due to the spontaneity of her resignation, Baumann will remain in her position until the end of the semester. This will ensure that the university has enough time to convene a search committee and find the best possible candidate to follow Baumann, according to administration.

After conferring with her predecessor, Fr. Graham, Hancyz has confirmed that the bulk of the search will be focused on internal candidates. According to her message, this will allow the position to be filled in a timely and satisfying matter.

The search will be conducted by a search advisory committee, led by Dr. Janice Walker and Dr. Justin Thorn. 

The committee will begin the rigorous process of interviewing and screening potential candidates once the committee staff and its search criteria are finalized. 

Hanycz requested faculty and staff to nominate their colleagues to fill the vacancy. This will help provide valuable insight into potential candidates within the Xavier community.