President Peterson Announces Interim Leadership and Organizational Changes

To the Georgia Tech community,

I am pleased to announce some personnel changes that will fill several recently vacated positions, strengthen our organizational structure, and address some of the issues from the recent investigative reports. This revised structure is intended to remain in place for the next six to 12 months, as we continue to evaluate and improve upon our administrative structure.

Interim Vice President Finance James Fortner has agreed to serve as the interim executive vice president for Administration and Finance. Jim has a deep knowledge of our processes and has garnered tremendous respect both within the Institute and in the community. Reporting directly to me, he will have oversight of the administrative, business, financial, facility, and budget activities for the Institute. Reporting to Jim will be the offices of Institute Planning and Resource Management, Administration, and Strategic Consulting. Within the next several months, we will undertake a national search to fill this position on a permanent basis.

Mark Demyanek, currently the assistant vice president for Facilities Management’s Operations and Maintenance, has agreed to serve as the interim senior vice president for Administration (SVPA). Mark has been employed with the University System of Georgia for 28 years and at Georgia Tech since 2007. In this role, he will lead Campus Services, Facilities Management, Human Resources, Information Technology, and the Georgia Tech Police Department.

Jennifer Hubert will serve as interim associate vice president for Institute Planning and Resource Management, which integrates planning, strategic resource management, financial oversight of Institute operations, and analytic support for decision-making. As announced in June, JulieAnne Williamson is serving as interim vice president for Campus Services.

Beginning Sept. 1 Aisha Oliver-Staley, currently executive director of Affiliated Organizations, will become the interim vice president for Legal Affairs and Risk Management as it is currently defined. She will replace Pat McKenna, who informed me last spring of his plans to retire.

In addition to these personnel changes, we have made a number of structural changes that we believe will significantly strengthen our focus on ethics and compliance and address some of the issues identified in the recent reports. Among these are the following:

  • The position of chief audit officer and director, Internal Auditing will report directly to me and to the USG Vice Chancellor for Internal Audit, which is consistent with Board policy.
  • The position of vice president for Legal Affairs and Risk Management will be redefined and retitled as the office of the General Counsel and Vice President for Ethics, Compliance, and Risk Management, to indicate that this individual will serve as the chief ethics officer for the Institute with sufficient authority and responsibility to ensure an independent and objective assessment of potential conflicts of interest and ethical concerns. This position will also report directly to me and will have oversight across Georgia Tech and its various cooperative organizations including direct supervisory control over the various ethics and compliance positions within the Institute. The search for the permanent replacement will begin as soon as possible.
  • Human Resources, currently part of Campus Services, is being realigned to report directly to the SVPA where it will serve the entire Institute, including its cooperative organizations.
  • Business Services (procurement, purchasing, accounts payable, and insurance), currently in Campus Services, will be merged with Financial Services and retitled Financial and Business Services, under the direction of the interim AVP for Institute Planning and Resource Management, who reports to the executive vice president.
  • The Georgia Tech Police Department, currently reporting through Legal Affairs and Risk Management, has been moved to Administration.
  • Please note: While not shown in the organizational chart referenced with this announcement, the vice president and director of GTRI will now serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet while continuing to report to the executive vice president for Research.

We are grateful to these individuals for their willingness to step up to provide leadership and continuity within Administration and Finance during this time of transition.

I ask that each of you support these interim leaders in the collaborative manner for which Georgia Tech is so well known. We will keep you apprised of the process for hiring permanent leaders in these positions. Together we can promote and ensure a culture of ethics and mutual respect, demonstrating resilience in all we do.

G.P. "Bud" Peterson