Dear Members of the LMU Community:
I share exciting news: our longtime colleague and friend, Margaret Kasimatis, Ph.D., will assume the position of provost and vice president for academic affairs at Saint Mary’s College of California on February 1, 2018. This is a wonderful opportunity for Margaret and we wish her the very best. We will miss her outstanding leadership which has been of great benefit to the university.
One of Margaret’s signature achievements was LMU’s successful reaccreditation with the WASC Senior College and University Commission. To achieve this outcome, Margaret led a multi-year, campus-wide effort to build the infrastructure, resources, collaborations, and processes to create and sustain a culture of continuous improvement. In its action letter, the Commission commended LMU for fostering a culture of assessment that permeates the institution and praised the university for being “a leader in the region” in assessing core competencies.
Margaret was instrumental in the development and implementation of the LMU Strategic Plan. She designed and helped shepherd the process that created the plan and worked closely with Provost Hellige and the Planning Council to coordinate the implementation of several key university initiatives. Margaret was also particularly influential in advancing initiatives related to graduate education and technology-enhanced learning.
Margaret spearheaded several initiatives designed to provide better support and professional development for faculty and department chairs. For example, she created the Office of Faculty Development, played a leadership role in revamping New Faculty Orientation, and created a university-wide mentoring program for new faculty.
Margaret also played a key role in the development of academic programs. She helped faculty design and gain approval for the new undergraduate Core Curriculum and played a critical role in its implementation. She also worked closely with BCLA to transition their undergraduate curricula to 4-unit courses, an initiative that has had profound impacts on teaching loads in the college. Margaret’s achievements in this area also include leading successful efforts to create a structure and process for the development and approval of academic policies; providing guidance and support to a faculty committee in its successful efforts to design, test, and gain approval for a new course evaluation form; reorganizing, expanding, and enhancing the professional staffing in the areas of assessment and institutional research; and leading efforts to build a decision support environment to address the data and analysis needs of academic leadership.
Through her supervision of LMU Extension, Margaret has created many opportunities for nontraditional-age students to further their education and career development. Last year, she led the establishment of a new degree completion program in Theological Studies for Pastoral Ministry. This program allows those working in the Church’s ministry in the San Bernardino Diocese to complete their undergraduate degrees in a ministry-related major.
Information regarding a farewell reception and interim administrative leadership for the offices and activities that have been in Margaret’s portfolio is forthcoming.
Margaret has been incredibly helpful to me since my arrival, and her knowledge, hard work, and dedication to LMU will truly be missed. Please join me in congratulating Margaret on her new position and thanking her for her outstanding service to LMU.
Thomas Poon, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Provost