Reorganization for the Division of Academic Affairs

Dear University Community:

During the past calendar year, the Division of Academic Affairs has undergone rigorous analyses and planning for reorganization to prioritize strategic initiatives and enhance the University’s infrastructure for support services to students. Multiple team members, office units and institutional review committees have contributed to this planning, for which I am most appreciative.

As a first phase of reorganization, I am pleased to announce the promotions and related organizational changes to accomplish these goals, effective January 1, 2019, as follows:

Dr. Sandra Emerick has been promoted to senior executive director of academic affairs and student services. She will provide strategic leadership and vision to the Academic Affairs and Student Services functions within the Division of Academic Affairs, inclusive of the Office of the Registrar, Academic Services, Testing Services, Assessment and Evaluation, Learning Center, Kohli Academic and Information Technology Center, Professional Development, including 80 student organizations, campus events, leadership and service, Student Credentialing, and Student Conduct.

Dr. Emerick joined NEOMED in August 2011 as the chief student affairs officer and, through collaboration and customized service development to address college-specific needs, built the initial student diversity efforts, counseling services and academic support services. Dr. Emerick has actively participated in ACPE, HLC and LCME accreditation processes, serves on all five Committees on Academic and Professional Progress (CAPP) and college admission committees, advises NEOMED Student Council and the Student Conduct Council, and chairs the Commencement Executive Planning Team and the Student Wellness Committee. Dr. Emerick has shown strong leadership in efforts to centralize student credentialing, formalize prematriculation intervention efforts, improve the CAPP and Leave of Absence processes, and address student concerns and student satisfaction through initiatives such as the Ask & Answer process.

During her three decades of service in higher education student affairs, Dr. Emerick has built a reputation for student-centered decision making, focus on student satisfaction and student success, and a commitment to innovation and collaboration. Nationally, Dr. Emerick has served on the national leadership of the American College Personnel Services as Coordinator of State Divisions and Foundation Trustee and was recognized with the ACPA Diamond Honoree Award in 2015 and the Foundation Service Award in 2018.

Prior to joining NEOMED, Dr. Emerick served Cleveland State University as associate dean of students for 14 years and The University of Akron as assistant dean of students for 10 years.  She completed her doctor of education degree in higher education and student affairs in 2005, and earned her masters of education degree in Higher Education Administration and her Bachelor of Science in Biology, all from The University of Akron.

Additionally, James (Jim) Barrett has been promoted to senior executive director of strategic enrollment initiatives. In his expanded role, Mr. Barrett will work collaboratively with each of the College Deans on the design, implementation, and assessment of initiatives related to shaping enrollment and achieving sustainable revenue targets for both existing and new academic programs. Mr. Barrett will organize and implement related organizational functions and frameworks to support University and College student recruitment efforts, including use of state-of-the industry enrollment technologies. Mr. Barrett will develop an annual admission and marketing plan to guide and assess the use of resources and will work with senior university officials on the optimization of scholarship and financial aid-based revenue strategies. Mr. Barrett will provide oversight and leadership for the Office of Enrollment Services, including admissions and financial aid.

Mr. Barrett joined NEOMED in 2014 as director of admission. Since that appointment, he has collaborated across the institution with executive leaders and faculty in the College of Medicine and College of Pharmacy to significantly revise and improve admission policies, procedures, and processes with an emphasis on using evidence-based best practices to achieve sustainable enrollment goals underpinning university strategies. He is consistently adept at analyzing and deconstructing complex challenges into clear, concise, and measurable action plans through participatory processes that have included a wide array of stakeholders, and then rapidly putting successful plans into action via applied project management. Higher profile utilization of these distinctive skill sets will be of great value to the University both immediately and in the long-term.    

Prior to NEOMED, Mr. Barrett rose to the position of vice president for direct marketing at Noel-Levitz (now Ruffalo Noel Levtiz), recognized as an industry leader in technology-enabled analytical services and enrollment management consulting. Prior to his promotion to lead this start-up venture, he joined the firm as an executive consultant for enrollment management. Across a three-decade career in higher education enrollment management, working to improve the enrollment performance of dozens of colleges and universities across the country, he also served as associate vice president for new student enrollment at Hiram College and as director of admission at Slippery Rock University and Kent State University, Stark Campus following his start at Kent State University.

With the divisional reorganization will come a review of proximal space planning needs to improve services to students, development of a collaborative and interactive “Learning Commons” within the existing Library environment, and initiatives to address NEOMED strategic goals associated with support of disadvantaged students, improved efficiencies of student-related functions, and creation of optimal learning environments.

Dr. Emerick and Mr. Barrett report directly to the vice president for academic affairs.

Please join me in congratulating each of them on their new University-wide leadership roles!

Richard J. Kasmer, Pharm.D., J.D.
Vice President, Academic Affairs
Dean, College of Pharmacy

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