University fills four key posts
In addition to the 3,400 incoming students and more than 200 new faculty members joining the ranks, the University filled four key posts this summer. Beginning their duties here this fall are Darlene Scott-Scurry, director of Equal Opportunity Programs; James Aylor, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science; Robert Bruner, dean of the Darden School; and David Prior, chancellor of U.Va.’s College at Wise.
Scott-Scurry new EOP director
Darlene Scott-Scurry started as director of the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs on Aug. 15. She comes to U.Va. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she held a similar position, implementing the school’s first comprehensive Affirmative Action plan.
An attorney with more than 15 years of experience with legal counseling in higher education and government, Scott-Scurry began her work at UMKC in 2000 as chief of staff to the provost. She set up the first Office for Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, which previously had been part of another department, in 2003. Her duties included developing relevant policies to ensure compliance with federal requirements, setting up training for search committees and information sessions on sexual harassment, and developing solutions to workplace disputes.
Her additional experience comes from several jobs she held in Washington, prior to moving to Kansas City. As deputy executive officer for intergovernmental and legal affairs with the District of Columbia Courts from 1990-2000, she advised the head of the organization on legal and labor issues. She also served as a liaison to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Congress, the mayor’s office and the D.C. City Council. In addition, she worked in the general counsel’s office at the University of the District of Columbia from 1981-2000 and was promoted to general counsel. For the last two of those years, Scott-Scurry also taught as an adjunct professor.
“She seemed to me to have an unusually strong background for this position, as well as a genuine commitment to equity in the workplace and in the classroom,” said U.Va. President John T. Casteen III. “This job requires thorough grounding in the administrative processes by which laws and policies are implemented, successful prior experience — because research-intensive universities pose complex challenges — and a range of human strengths, not least of them habits of fairness, persistence and compassion. The search committee and I believe that we have found the right person in Ms. Scott-Scurry.”
“I’m honored to have the opportunity and look forward to working with the staff,” Scott-Scurry said. “I plan to listen and learn, find out what people expect of the office and make an assessment of what we can do to advance the University’s goals.”
A native of Memphis, Tenn., Scott-Scurry graduated from Clark Atlanta University and American University’s Washington College of Law.
Aylor is engineering dean
Interim dean James H. Aylor was promoted to dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science on July 19.
“Jim’s year as the interim dean has been a productive and positive one,” Casteen said. “As dean during the next five years, his priorities will be to expand the school’s enrollment in order to meet demand for admission, to identify and secure new sources of support to offset the radical decline in state tax support that occurred in 2003 and has been only minimally restored, while building research programs, including both gifted faculty members and facilities suitable to the critical work they do.”
Currently the Louis T. Rader Professor, Aylor, 59, headed U.Va.’s Electrical Engineering Department from 1996 until 2003, when he became associate dean of academic programs. He was named interim dean in July 2004, upon the retirement of Richard Miksad.
“These are very exciting times,” Aylor said. “My overarching goal is to work with the University administration and the faculty … to place the engineering school as a top 20 school” nationally. To get there, he will seek to hire 25 to 30 more tenure-track faculty, another 25 research faculty, and greatly expand collaborations with other parts of the University. He also will seek to review and update a schoolwide strategic plan adopted four years ago.
During Aylor’s tenure as interim dean, the school improved eight places to its current position of 31st nationally in the U.S. News & World Report ranking.
Aylor has been an active researcher in the area of complex computer system design, including computer technology for healthy aging. He was instrumental in founding the Center for Semicustom Integrated Systems, which was established as one of the first Technology Development Centers of the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology under his leadership.
Aylor earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from the University, in 1968, 1971 and 1977, respectively. He joined the faculty in 1978.
Darden dean: Bruner
Robert F. Bruner, an internationally known mergers and acquisitions expert, named as one of Business Week’s “masters of the M.B.A. classroom,” has been given a one-year appointment as dean of the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.
Bruner, a 23-year veteran of the Darden School and the school’s Distinguished Professor of Business Administration, replaces Robert S. Harris, who stepped down as dean on July 29 after four years at the helm.
“Bob Bruner brings many remarkable strengths to one of the University’s most important and most challenging jobs,” Casteen said in making the announcment on Aug. 1. “His scholarly works, his expertise as a teacher and recognized master of the case study method of instruction in graduate business, his formative influence on the Batten Institute and the study of entrepreneurship generally, and his international reputation all have immediate value to the Darden School as it prepares for its next stage of growth.”
Casteen noted that the selection of Bruner will complement the legacy left by Harris, who is known for his sound planning for the future of executive education, including the Darden School’s first-ever Executive M.B.A. program, along with significant new commitments to international study and research into matters affecting the global economy. “To this solid foundation, Dean Bruner brings his own extensive experience within the Darden School and on the national scene,” Casteen said.
Bruner, a member of the faculty since 1982, served as executive director of the Batten Institute from 2000 to 2004. His areas of teaching, research and writing include corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, investing in emerging markets, innovation and technology transfer. He is the author of 16 books — most recently, “Deals From Hell: M&A Lessons That Rise Above the Ashes.”
“I am deeply honored by this opportunity to serve the institution,” Bruner said. “There are a number of priorities in the coming year that will focus my attention. … In September, we will celebrate the school’s 50th anniversary, a key milestone in Darden’s history. And we will build the Darden School’s brand in the eyes of the public, potential applicants and our many stakeholders.”
Bruner, 55, earned a B.A. from Yale University in 1971. He earned an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1974 and a D.B.A. from Harvard in 1982.
Prior new U.Va.-Wise chancellor
David J. Prior, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, was named the seventh chancellor of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise on July 20. He will begin his duties on Sept. 1.
In announcing the appointment, Casteen said Prior has had “long and successful experience as a scholar and administrator in liberal arts colleges and in regional public colleges, including some 15 years in Appalachia.
“In every sense, this appointment is a splendid next step for the College.”
Prior’s arrival comes at a time of growth for the College at Wise, which has enrolled record numbers of freshmen in each of the past three academic years. It is expected to grow from its current 1,800-student enrollment to 2,000 by the fall of 2007. A new, 120-bed dormitory is due to open in January, and the College has plans to renovate and expand its theater and to renovate its main administration building. A major fund-raising campaign — the second in the school’s 50-year history — is expected to kick off in fall 2006.
“The College at Wise has a clear image of its future as a liberal arts college and as a resource to support the entire Southwest Virginia region,” Prior said. “My wife and I are proud to become part of the Wise
Prior succeeds Steven H. Kaplan, who resigned in March 2004 to become president of the University of New Haven in Connecticut. Ernest H. Ern, a retired senior vice president and professor at U.Va., finished a one-year term as interim chancellor in June.
Prior, 61, earned a Ph.D. in neurophysiology from the University of Virginia in 1972. Before that, he earned an A.B. in biology from Olivet College in Michigan in 1965 and a master’s in animal physiology and biochemistry from Central Michigan University in 1968. He also was a post-doctoral fellow in neurobiology at Princeton University from 1972 to 1973.
He began his teaching career in 1973 at the University of Kentucky. In 1987 he became chairman of the department of biology at Northern Arizona University and was named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences there in 1992.
In 1995, he was named dean of graduate studies and research at Northern Michigan University. Moving to Wisonsin in 1998, he became provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, first at the University of
Wisconsin-Whitewater, and in 2002 at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.