The University is currently in the process of finding a replacement for Senior Vice President for Administration Mark Collins, who left Brandeis at the end of the 2013 calendar year. However, the University now looks to fill a position with a different title: vice president for operations.

Collins, whose departure prompted public criticism from faculty, most notably Prof. Harry Mairson (COSI), had been at Brandeis for 27 years before an October announcement stated he would leave for reasons that remain unclear.

Senior Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer Marianne Cwalina, who is chairing the search committee, confirmed that the search to replace Collins has been in place.

Cwalina wrote in an email to the Justice that the position is changing "to reflect best practices at peer institutions in terms of the title and level of positions that oversee campus operations." 

The vice president for operations, according to Cwalina, will continue to be in charge of facilities, public safety, major capital projects, environmental health and safety, conferences and events, dining and other campus services. However, "[j]ob descriptions may change based on the qualifications of the individual ultimately selected," Cwalina wrote. The vice president for operations will report to Chief Operating Officer Steve Manos.

Cwalina wrote that the firm of Witt/Kieffer is assisting Brandeis with the search. The firm was hired in December and has been searching for potential applicants for about three weeks, according to Cwalina.

A search committee, which includes representatives from administration, faculty and students, will be working to select the vice president for operations. According to an email to the Justice from Student Union President Ricky Rosen '14, who is on the committee, its first meeting was on Dec. 16. Rosen wrote that all seven committee members were present, including five administrators, one faculty member and himself. A staff member and Manos were also present, while the two consultants spoke to the attendees over the phone.

Rosen wrote that he is the sole student representative on the committee. "I believe that the thinking was to keep the committee smaller to allow for more frequent communication and more intimate discussion, which is difficult to do with a larger group," Rosen wrote. According to Rosen, at its first meeting, the committee discussed the "specific characteristics" that they would be considering for the new vice president for operations.

According to Cwalina, the timing of the search process will depend upon how quickly the search firm can assemble a pool of qualified candidates for this important position. The firm will provide names of potential candidates to the committee when the applicant pool has been completely assembled. Rosen wrote that both the consultants and the committee will be interviewing candidates over the next few months.

"[W]e are hoping that a new V.P. of Operations will be appointed sometime in March," Rosen wrote.