By Joseph Lyell —

U of L has eliminated the operations division and the chief operating officer position from its organizational structure, president Neeli Bendapudi said in an email to faculty and staff Sept. 27.

University spokesperson John Karman said COO Joseph Han, who was hired in December, was not reassigned to another department.

Karman said the university does not have an estimate for how much the reorganization will save the university.

Bendapudi said operations, business operations and planning, design and construction departments will now report to CFO Dan Durbin, who was hired in June.

The U of L Police Department and Technology Solutions will now report to provost Beth Boehm, and Environment Health and Safety will report to vice president for enterprise risk management, audit and compliance Rhonda Bishop.

“Directors in those areas and members of the COO office team were informed of this decision Wednesday afternoon,” Bendapudi said. “The change will not impact the day-to-day operations of these units. However, we expect it to improve coordination between these units and the areas of campus they serve.”

In Han’s seven months as COO, he oversaw the completion of two construction projects: the Belknap Academic Building and the SAC extension.

Han also brought on new U of L Police Department chief Gary Lewis from Cleveland State in July.

Han was the first permanent COO since Harlan Sands, who was described as an “agent of change” while serving as U of L’s COO and CFO.

In an interview with a Cardinal reporter, Han said he tried to give staff a voice, and allow them to be a part of solutions from their beginning.

Han said he expected to unveil the new Canon printing and mail services in mid-September, but the university hasn’t set a date yet.

Photo by Joseph Lyell / The Louisville Cardinal