Posler to leave USI

Jessie Hellmann

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Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Brian Posler will leave USI to become the Executive Vice President of Student Affairs and the college of arts and sciences dean at a small private school, Baker University, in Baldwin City, Kan.

He was contacted by Baker University to apply for the position, Posler said.

“I have always loved my time here at USI,” Posler said. “It has been a pleasure working here, and it has been a great place for me to learn and also advance professionally.” 

Posler, who grew up in Manhattan, Kan., said he is excited about moving back to his home state, and describes Baker’s campus as “wonderful.”

“I was able to go to the (Baker) campus three times over the past month and get to meet with different folks and spend time with the search committee and President (Pat) Long,” Posler said. “I got to know the campus better and got a better feel on whether it was a good feel for both sides.”

He describes his new position as a mixture of Provost Ron Rochon and Liberal Arts Dean Michael Aakhus’ jobs.

“All the deans from the other colleges will report to me as well as other academic units,” Posler said. “It’s a smaller administrative structure than what we have at USI, but it will allow me to be the dean of the college but also work with the other deans in terms of overall policy.”

He will also fill in for the president when she is away or unable to serve. Ultimately, all things academic will report to his office, he said.

“This is my opportunity to become a chief academic officer, and so that’s a really nice professional advancement,” Posler said.

He will also be able to teach at Baker University, which is very important to him, he said.

He will miss the relationships he’s had students over the years, he said.

“I just loved those conversations that people would have about politics in our (political science) classes,” Posler said.  “So, I will always look back fondly on my time here, but right now I’m excited about embracing these new challenges.”

The relationships Posler has with his collegues will be missed as well, he said, a feeling that is mutual in the Provost’s Office.

Provost Ronald Rochon said with a laugh that his heart is broken regarding Posler’s departure.

“It’s a wonderful professional opportunity for Posler, and we’re going to miss him,” Rochon said.

Posler’s was an extraordinary teacher and administrator, and Rochon is excited for Posler to take his skills to Baker University, Rochon said.

“I think USI has been instrumental in assisting him in preparing him for the next chapter of his professional career,” Rochon said.

“I’m extremely saddened by his departure, but I’m excited for him, too,” Rochon said.

Rochon has not made any plans yet to fill Posler’s position because everything is so “new and fresh,” he said.

An interim will fill Posler’s position until a permanent associate provost can be found, Rochon said.

President Linda Bennett also expressed pride in Posler’s new job opportunity.

“I am delighted that Dr. Posler will have the opportunity to continue his record of academic leadership, though I am sad he will be leaving USI,” Bennett said in a written statement to The Shield. ” I hired Dr. Posler in 2005 while serving as USI’s Provost, and I have valued his keen intellect and good humor.  I wish him well at Baker University.”

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