By Kyeland Jackson —
Acting President Neville Pinto has put his ducks in a row, naming U of L’s interim vice president and provost.
English professor Dale Billingsley will take over the positions. Billingsley’s tenure spans almost 40 years, with his last nine years spent as university’s vice provost for undergraduate affairs. Pinto praised Billingsley’s service and accomplishments.
“(Billingsley) is a former chair of the faculty senate and served as faculty trustee. His experience and knowledge of the university and his background and history will enable him to continue the momentum in the implementation of the 21st Century University Initiative: Powering the 2020 Plan, as well as the other facets of the provost’s position,” Pinto said in a statement.
“His main regret in the new appointment is the loss of regular classroom contact with students…I am very grateful for Billingsley’s willingness to take on a new role at a critical time for our university.”
Billingsley’s appointment bookends a tumultuous summer for U of L. James Ramsey resigned as president, bidding for a spot with U of L’s $730 million endowment manager. The board of trustees were abolished by Governor Matt Bevin, replaced with a 10-member board. That 10-member board was paralyzed by a judge’s order, reinstating the abolished 17-member board.
While Pinto is the acting president, the search for a permanent president is underway. Pinto did not clarify if he would accept the presidency if offered to him, but said he hopes the search will be national.
As interim provost, Billingsley will spearhead the 21st Century University Initiative. Started by former provost Shirley Willihnganz, the initiative aims to increase graduation rates and academic success at U of L. The plan must be satisfied before 2020, meeting a Kentucky Postsecondary Education Act mandate for U of L to be a premier metropolitan university.
Once a vice provost for strategic enrollment management and student success is appointed, Pinto said Billingsley plans to step down as interim provost and teach into his retirement.
Photo courtesy / Dale Billingsley’s LinkedIn.