Dennis Galvan appointed interim VP for International Affairs.

There were (at least) two credible internal candidates. President Lariviere went with the one who was willing to go to Gabon and prove he had no spine. As with other recent appointments there was no legitimate search committee, hence Galvan will take office without any buy-in from the people he is supposed to lead or from the faculty he is supposed to work with. What kind of person would want the job without that? This lesson will not be lost on good, qualified potential senior administrators – they will try another university.

Oct. 28, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that Dennis Galvan has agreed to serve as vice provost for the University of Oregon’s Office of International Affairs, following the departure of current Vice Provost Denis Simon on Dec. 31.

Dennis Galvan is tremendously well-qualified to lead the university’s international initiatives – an area that has been identified as being of critical importance to the UO and the state of Oregon. Dennis has been a professor in international studies and political science at the UO for 10 years. He has served as head of the International Studies Department, and co-director with Craig Parsons of the UO’s Global Oregon Initiative – a university-wide effort to promote internationalization.

In addition to his teaching and administrative work at the UO, Dennis has compiled a deep real-world resume with periodic field work in West Africa since 1986 and in Central Java, Indonesia, since 1999, and ongoing initiatives in France and Korea. His research interests include sustainability, the politics of culture and political legitimation.

Dennis will begin his duties as vice provost on a part-time basis Nov. 15, and then transition to full-time Jan. 1, for the remainder of an appointment period ending June 30, 2013.  During the 2012-13 academic year, a nationwide search will be conducted to permanently fill the position. 

Denis Simon informed me recently that he would be leaving the UO at the end of this year due to a combination of health-related and family considerations. He has reorganized the Office of International Affairs while serving as vice provost for the past year, and leaves it well-positioned for continued leadership in study abroad and international student and scholar services.

We make this appointment confident that Professor Galvan will maintain and build on recent momentum in the international arena. We consider it especially important to create more regular, robust and mutually rewarding linkages between the Office of International Affairs and the international initiatives of schools, colleges, departments and research centers. To that end, we support the conceptual vision for an over-arching Center for International Affairs, housed in the Office of International Affairs, working to integrate global research centers, strategic initiatives and related undertakings. We expect that Dennis Galvan will be consulting widely with relevant stakeholders across campus to develop an appropriate plan.

I felt it was important to move quickly in naming an acting vice provost during a period of great international opportunities for the university. Dennis Galvan will provide a seamless transition in our programs and initiatives – including next June’s meeting at the UO of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities presidents.

Please join me in welcoming Dennis to his new role.

-Lorraine Davis, Acting Senior Vice President and Provost

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11 Responses to Dennis Galvan appointed interim VP for International Affairs.

  1. Anonymous says:

    A really awful appointment. He’ll fit right in.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Why do you need a search committee for an interim appointment? The memo clearly states that Galvan will serve while a national search is run.

    I understand not liking his role in the Gabon relationship (a role UO Matters still doesn’t fully understand), but I’m not sure that our beloved blogger is positioned to know how effective Galvan’s interim presence will be or how the folks in International Affairs will react to him.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    However, we see a pattern at the UO of “interim” positions becoming permanent without searches and with no consideration of what staff in the units want.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    An absolutely brilliant appointment.

    Prof. Galvan is the best professor I have ever had, there’s no comparison. He truly cares about his students and about expanding the UofO’s international relations. Of all the people that could have been appointed, I’m more than okay with this choice.

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  5. UO Matters says:

    This is called an interim appointment (and my posts is titled that) but only a fool would believe that. Galvan will be in the middle of his second year by the time the search begins. No serious candidates will apply unless there is some obvious and convincing reason by then that Galvan is unacceptable to Lariviere. Can anyone name *any* interim appointment at UO who has wanted to keep the job and who has then been replaced by a search?

    Ss for the “brilliant appointment” comment above, please. I’m not saying he’s not a great professor. I’m saying he should stay a professor.

    BTW, does anyone have any updates on the Gabon deal? I notice the announcement doesn’t mention a word about it.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    I have no problem with internal appointments that become semi-permanent after a credible national search. You *want* a healthy balance between recruiting new blood from elsewhere and promoting existing faculty from within the ranks, not just an endless rotation of professional administrators who perch here for a year or two until a better opportunity comes along, and who in the meanwhile lord it over disgruntled lifers on the faculty.

    I agree that the Gabon thing could’ve been vetted more extensively and more openly. But I don’t blame Galvan for the failure to do so, and in fact I think he’s a really sharp pick for this post for a variety of reasons. More power to him.

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  7. UO Matters says:

    Plenty of people would have heard Lariviere’s offer and then said “I’d love a chance to explain to the people on campus why I’m the best person for the job, and see if they agree.”

    Galvan apparently just said “I’ll take the job.”

    Not a good sign.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Dennis has lots of excellent qualities. Maybe a talent for administration will turn out to be one of them. Despite what uo matters says, it’s not like there were a lot of good choices, and a public discussion about internal candidates would have turned into a nasty bloodbath with permanent scars. Let’s hope everyone gives Dennis some support – and some sort of administrative boot camp training. A job for Berdahl.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Were there that many candidates for the search when Simon was hired? I don’t get a sense that people are clamoring for senior positions on this campus, and not just because of interim candidates.

    I have heard scattered speculation that Simon’s departure was related more to workplace culture in International Affairs than to health/family. Is this just idle speculation?

    Finally, I’m not aware of potential interim appointments ever asking to put themselves up for public approbation before accepting a job. Is this more UO Matters idealism or has this been done in the past?

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  10. UO Matters says:

    So, what did happen with Gabon?

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Yes, something about Simon’s departure seems fishy. Never mind that has has a track record for not sticking at any one job very long.

    Galvan, for all of his faults, will be a welcome addition to IA. The office under Simon has been all but useless. I.e., could it get any worse? (We’d like to think not.) Galvan’s strengths for bringing people together and his vision for international experience and language at UO are also progressive.

    Gabon is a big cloud, but the major issues for that revolve around the President and other real power brokers (Galvan has not been a power player, historically, even if there has been instrumental collusion on his part).

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