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Organization Design and 'Role of the Center' Introductory Meetings

Following up on our brief update last week, we’re writing today with a deeper dive into one of our first focus areas: organization design.

The Magis Operational Excellence diagnostic report noted that organization design has a significant impact on creating a culture of efficiency and effectiveness, one of the key priorities of our strategic plan. Organization design includes the number of levels between the president and the frontline, as well as the number of people reporting to each supervisor.

Based on our review and your feedback, we determined that our current organizational structure is not optimal. As stated when the report was released, the senior leaders of each area will be personally engaged in deciding the best organization design for their respective units. To guide and support the deans and VPs in this work, we have established the following organization design initiative team:

  • David Heimburger, vice president and CFO (sponsor)
  • Nancy Brickhouse, provost (sponsor)
  • Mickey Luna, vice president, human resources (manager)
  • Danielle Uy, senior associate general counsel
  • Libby Gallogly, compensation analyst, human resources

‘Role of the Center’

One of the first steps in approaching organization design is to review what we are calling the “role of the center” or the balance between central and distributed services for select administrative functions at SLU: enrollment, finance, information technology and marketing/communications. 

Click here to review select slides from the report, which provide an overview of the purpose and goals of an organization review, as well as highlight key data related to how we currently balance between central and distributed services for these administrative functions.

In reviewing the “role of the center,” we will consider who should manage these administrative functional support activities and in what location the activities should be performed. The goal is to create a less complex organization that delivers high-quality support at an equitable level across the institution.

Working under the direction of the organization design initiative team listed above, there will be a sub-initiative team for each administrative function. Members are:


  • Jay Goff, vice president, enrollment and retention management
  • Robert Wood, Ph.D., professor and associate provost, academic affairs
  • Mona Hicks, associate vice president, student development


  • David Heimburger, vice president and chief financial officer
  • Chris Duncan, Ph.D., dean, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Kyle Collins, director, ITS enterprise resources

Information Technology

  • David Hakanson, vice president and chief information officer
  • Angela Sharkey, M.D., associate dean, School of Medicine
  • Patrick McCarthy, associate dean, University Libraries, and director, Medical Center Library


  • Jeff Fowler, vice president, marketing and communications
  • Jennifer Kohler Giancola, Ph.D., interim dean, School of Professional Studies
  • Jean Gilman Cox, associate vice president, enrollment, and dean, admission                                                                     

The work of these teams is just getting started, and plans for how each group will gather data and further engage stakeholders is now under development. To get your initial feedback at the start of the process, we will host two introductory meetings on Thursday, October 13. These sessions will include small group discussions in an open house-style format. The times and locations are as follows:

  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. | Busch Student Center, St. Louis Room
  • 4-5 p.m. | Learning Resource Center, Rooms 110-111

Fuze Community Forum

As a reminder, we will host one more general community forum via Fuze at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, October 12. The link is and the Meeting ID is: 33629114. A phone dial-in option is available at 201-479-4595. Because Fuze meetings are limited to 200 participants, the session will be recorded and available for viewing later.

Staying Informed and Providing Feedback

Don’t forget that you can download the full diagnostic report from the Magis Operational Excellence website. We continue to encourage you to make suggestions and to ask questions by emailing us at or by using the online feedback form. We are always happy to engage with you, but anonymous submissions are welcome as well.   

Thank you again for your commitment to what Dr. Pestello has rightly called the most important priority for our University.

Your program coordinators,

Eric Armbrecht, Ph.D., M.S.
Associate Professor

Mickey Luna, J.D.
Vice President, Human Resources

Launched in February 2016, Magis Operational Excellence is an institution-wide initiative designed to make SLU more efficient and effective, and identify opportunities for increased revenue and growth — all to enable the priorities identified in the University's strategic plan. The program stems from Initiative Five of our strategic plan that calls for us foster a culture of excellence, effectiveness and efficiency deeply rooted in our institutional mission and Catholic, Jesuit values.