Saunders promoted at UWF to oversee academics and operations

In response to the recent “No Confidence” vote by the faculty senate, UWF President Dr. Judy Bense has appointed Martha Saunders the Provost and Executive Vice President of the University of West Florida.

Dr. Saunders will serve as both the Chief Academic Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the university. All other vice presidents and the general counsel will report directly to her.

“Martha’s experience in higher education has been a tremendous asset to the reorganization of Academic Affairs and UWF as a whole,” said Dr. Bense in her message to faculty and staff. “While UWF has had Executive Vice Presidents in the past, we are at a point in our history when the Chief Academic Officer needs to serve as the Chief Operating Officer.”

Dr. Bense said that many other institutions utilize a similar model. She believed it will provide faculty and staff with full-time, on-campus executive leadership that will improve internal operations and communication.

“It will also enable me to focus more on the external responsibilities that are becoming increasingly critical and delicate such as legislative affairs, performance based funding metrics, relations with the Board of Governors, fundraising and developing a capital campaign, community and alumni engagement and institutional reputation building, among others,” said Dr. Bense. “I believe this structure is one in which the faculty and staff can have tremendous confidence.”