Humboldt State University
March 28, 2012 – Administrative Review - Provost Snyder

Dear Campus Community,

In addition to HSU's annual evaluation process, each vice president participates in an administrative review process every three years. The campus was notified of Provost Snyder's review this academic year and invited to submit input. This review has concluded and based on comments received and my own personal assessment, it is my opinion, and that of several of you who sent reviews, that we are fortunate to have Provost Snyder leading HSU's division of Academic Affairs. He is an exceptional administrator who clearly understands the roles and responsibilities of our faculty and is deeply committed to the mission of HSU and to the success of our students.

Provost Snyder's success derives from a series of accomplishments that were documented in the reviews submitted to my office. The following are largely quotes from those reviews.

  • He is willing "to listen and work closely with the support staff, Deans and Vice Presidents in rendering difficult decisions."
  • "He is a very amicable person with a keen intellect and possessing a clear articulation of his thoughts."
  • "He is known to be straightforward and honest, so even those who disagree with him respect him for that."
  • "His steady, unrelenting style greatly contributed to the campus community's acceptance of the relatively radical changes that came out of the cabinet's (Cabinet for Institutional Change) recommendations and the subsequent improvement that resulted from these changes."
  • "…the human side of Bob Snyder has made a difference in my life and work."
  • "Bob has been a strong force behind the formation of Institutional Research and Planning and its role in transforming the campus towards evidence based decision making."
  • "…he is unafraid to change his mind and adapt a new perspective when the data are persuasive."
  • "Bob insists on teamwork and collegiality among his direct reports; he continuously reinforces the importance of utilizing our resources in ways that support university priorities; he directs and supports his team in ways that inspire their commitment."
  • "He has been successful in getting the college deans to voluntarily cooperate with each other as a result of creating this transparent and egalitarian system."
  • "…Provost Snyder has made important inroads towards restructuring our institutional processes to better support student success."

In addition to the accomplishments noted above in reviews submitted by faculty and staff, Provost Snyder has worked closely with the Academic Senate and assisted the Senate in their transition to a University Senate as recommended by the Cabinet for Institutional Change that he led, and which was his initiative. This work alone has already begun to improve the processes of shared governance on our campus and positions us to be able to respond more effectively to the changes that higher education in our country is facing. I note also his initiation and management of the Program Elimination process. This is a transparent process closely linked to shared governance and in the best interests of the future of Humboldt State University. The Provost's Office has been the leader in responding to the concerns noted by our accrediting agency in its recent review of HSU. The Provost has worked closely with the Board of the Sponsored Programs Foundation to restructure this entity, stabilize its financing and recruit excellent leaders to support the development of scholarship across the university. Perhaps one of the Provost's most important decisions was his office's initiative to strengthen the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

The administrative review form for Provost Snyder also requested advice about areas of his performance that could be strengthened. These suggestions focused on his work with colleagues and staff members and the need to move the university more rapidly towards our goals for enrollment and student retention. I have discussed these issues and this entire review with the Provost and have identified the following goals for the next few years:

  • Continue the emphasis on student success, the improvement of our retention and graduation rates and closing the achievement gap.
  • Work with deans and faculty to emphasize our university's goals of sustainability across the curriculum.
  • Work with our Native American groups on and off campus to improve the retention and graduation rates of students and to provide educational opportunities that will ultimately support the needs of the local Tribes.
  • Continue efforts to expand the use of technology to improve learning opportunities for students and to work with faculty to encourage the use of newer and more effective ways of helping students to learn.
  • Continue efforts to diversify our faculty, staff and students to reflect the demographic changes occurring in our region and state.
  • Continue to work closely with the University Senate and its leadership to improve collegiality among faculty and the administration and to reduce the time required for change on our campus.
  • Continue to work with his vice presidential colleagues to ensure that the overlaps that inevitably occur between areas do not detract from services to students and faculty.
  • Provide more direction to his colleagues and associates about his preferences for action.

I very much appreciate the thoughtful reviews that have allowed me to assess the Provost's progress in his leadership of our university.

I feel extremely fortunate to be working with Bob Snyder as our Provost. He has a deep understanding of the history and culture of our university and a strong belief in the importance of serving the needs of our students. I very much appreciate Bob's willingness to provide me with straightforward advice and guidance and his efforts to build a supportive team with his colleague vice presidents. Bob is also well aware of the need for our campus to respond to the cultural and technological changes that are moving ever more rapidly and whose effects on higher education will be substantial. I thank Bob for his careful and caring leadership of our university and for the future successes it will engender.

Sincerely,

Signature - Rollin C. Richmond
Rollin C. Richmond
President