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Debbie Storrs to take on senior vice provost role full-time at UND

Debbie Storrs, dean of the UND College of Arts and Sciences. Grand Forks Herald file photo by John Stennes.

UND will have a familiar face in a familiar position, but the move will leave an open seat at the university.

Debbie Storrs, who has been the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UND for five years, has been named senior vice provost at the school, a position she's held, in part, for the past year.

Storrs has shared the senior vice provost role with Hesham El-Rewini, dean of the College of Engineering and Mines. Both had agreed to spend 25 percent of their time managing portfolios in the provost's office with the help of faculty fellows. El-Rewini has chosen to return to his position as a dean full-time.

Storrs will take over full-time once an interim dean for the college is selected. Until then, she will perform both roles.

"It's bittersweet because I certainly love my college, but in this new role I get to support not just my college, but all colleges, so that's pretty exciting for me," she said.

Peter Johnson, a spokesman for the university, said an interim dean for the College of Arts and Sciences has not yet been named.

In her time as dean, Storrs oversaw the consolidation of Arts and Sciences departments in Columbia Hall, as well as the process of shouldering the largest portion of the university's 2017 budget cuts. She also was at the helm for the late 2016 organization of UND communication programs as an official campus department.

Earlier this year, Storrs interviewed for a provost position at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

Storrs said she believes it is an "exciting time for the university" and added that she looks forward to joining the provost's office on a full-time basis.

As a part of her new position, several colleges will report to her, as well as the Honors Program, essential studies, arts collection and the International Center, as well as several other areas. Student Academic Services also will begin reporting to Storrs' office this year.

In addition, Storrs will serve as the liaison to the North Dakota University System. She will represent Provost Tom DiLorenzo at the Academic Affairs Council.

"That's what I love about this role," she said. "It's expansive, it touches every aspect of the university. I get to support all the colleges. The work I do supports both faculty and students."

Jeff Holm will continue to lead Online UND and the Office of Analytics and Planning. The search for a vice provost for enrollment management also is underway, and the provost's office expects to have a final decision for that position in the next few weeks.

Sydney Mook

Sydney Mook has been covering higher education at the Grand Forks Herald since May 2018. She previously served as the multimedia editor and cops, courts and health reporter at the Dickinson Press from January 2016 to May 2018.  She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science in three and half years in December 2015. While at the USD, she worked for the campus newspaper, The Volante, as well as the television news show, Coyote News. She also interned at South Dakota Public Broadcasting and spent the summer before her senior year interning in Fort Knox for the ROTC Cadet Summer Training program. In her spare time, Sydney enjoys cheering on the New York Yankees and the Kentucky Wildcats, as well as playing golf. If you've got an idea for a video be sure to give her a call!

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