(March 7, 2018) -- The Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs today announced the appointment of Can Saygin as Interim Senior Vice Provost for Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives, filling the position vacated when Sandra Welch retired last year.
“Can’s deep experience with strategic planning and data management are the exact qualities needed to steward UTSA’s efforts around effectiveness and initiative implementation,” said Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Mauli Agrawal.
In this new role, Saygin will oversee the Office of Institutional Effectiveness—which includes the team leading SACSCOC reaffirmation of accreditation and the Office of Institutional Research—as well as the newly established strategic initiatives team within the Office of the President. In addition to developing, refining and monitoring strategic initiatives, he will lead the design and development of assessment efforts and university-wide processes based on continuous improvement and lean systems principles.
Saygin will report to President Taylor Eighmy for now as the university continues its search for a new chief academic officer. Agrawal will be leaving the university this June to assume the Chancellorship at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
“As we prepare for our re-accreditation review in 2020, it is essential we prioritize the areas within the Office of Institutional Effectiveness,” said Eighmy. “As we look to hire a new provost, these areas will report to me for the present so that we maintain focus during this critical transition period.”
Saygin’s role will also provide greater coordination around UTSA’s data management and integrity, areas critical to the university’s assessment efforts.
“Our Presidential Initiative consultants have all noted that data governance is an area needing prioritization in order to move closer to our vision,” said Eighmy.
Saygin most recently served as Associate Vice President for Sponsored Project Administration in the Office of the Vice President for Research where he has worked since 2013. Since November 2017, he also served as the Faculty Advisor to the President for Strategic Initiatives where he developed key metrics, implemented a project management process for initiatives, and provided systematic review of areas for process improvements.
“I am thrilled to take on this exciting responsibility of establishing a data-centric foundation to facilitate greater operational awareness and accountability at UTSA,” said Saygin. “I am looking forward to working on ways we can execute strategies more effectively and become a more connected organization to fully achieve President Eighmy’s vision.”
A professor of mechanical engineering and the former director of UTSA’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Lean Systems, Saygin joined UTSA in 2006 after holding previous faculty appointments at the University of Missouri–Rolla and the University of Toledo.
Associate Vice President for Research Integrity Michelle (Mickey) Stevenson will assume the responsibilities of the Associate Vice President for Sponsored Projects while a national search is underway for Saygin’s permanent replacement.
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