Senior VP Sullivan to step down

Tom Sullivan announced he plans to return to the law school at the end of 2011.

Jennifer Bissell

After serving as senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Minnesota for seven years, Provost Tom Sullivan will be stepping down at the end of 2011.

Sullivan said he plans to return to the UniversityâÄôs law school, where he served as dean from 1995 to 2002.

âÄúServing as provost the past seven years has been a real privilege and pleasure,âÄù Sullivan said in a statement. âÄúWith President Bruininks returning to the faculty this year, itâÄôs a good time for me to do the same.âÄù

As senior vice president and provost, Sullivan has helped consolidate colleges, create new centers and overhaul the UniversityâÄôs tenure code and academic freedom policies.

President-designate Eric Kaler has said he plans to conduct a national search for SullivanâÄôs successor.

âÄúI have the greatest respect for the work Tom Sullivan has done as the universityâÄôs chief academic officer,âÄù Kaler said in a statement. âÄúI look forward to building on the work he and President Bruininks have done as the U moves forward.âÄù

Sullivan is the fifth University vice president to announce plans of stepping down in the months leading up to the presidential transition, following  Vice President for Scholarly and Cultural Affairs Steven Rosenstone, Vice President for University Relations Karen Himle, Vice President for Equity and Diversity Nancy Barcelo and Vice President of Health Sciences and Medical School Dean Frank Cerra.