Satz’s work goes on despite illness

Provost Ron Satz is expected to return to campus later this month following a sudden medical diagnosis that has kept him out of commission since the first part of December.

Satz declined to comment on the nature of his illness but said he expects to return on a part-time basis in mid-February while continuing to receive treatment.

At Satz’s request, The Spectator interviewed him via e-mail because of his treatment schedule.

The provost gathered his staff together in a Dec. 3 meeting to tell them he would be taking medical leave effective immediately. Since then, academic affairs staff members have been working to fulfill Satz’s obligations.

“I think things are running fairly smoothly,” said Jan Morse, the university’s administrative officer. “Everybody’s pitched in and it’s been great.”

Morse has been working closely with Steve Tallant, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, to fill in for the provost. Vice Chancellor Andy Soll and Chancellor Donald Mash have stepped up to help with budget issues.

Satz, who has been with the university since 1983, serves as the university’s chief academic officer, overseeing such institutions as the registrar’s office, admissions office and office of multicultural affairs. He has served as provost and vice chancellor since 1999.

The provost also is responsible for professional development and faculty tenure and promotion, Morse said.

Despite his illness and treatment schedule, Satz has had almost daily e-mail and phone contact with the university, he said.

He also has been keeping up with mail correspondence.

“Overall, it’s worked out remarkably well,” Tallant said. “Has it been a challenge? Yes. But I wouldn’t call it difficult.”

Academic affairs staff members have missed Satz both personally and professionally, Tallant said.

“On a personal level, he’s my supervisor. I worked closely with him for four years,” Tallant said. “I’ve missed his presence … we’ve missed his guidance.”

Morse has worked with Satz for five years and echoed Tallant’s sentiments about the provost.

“When anybody that you know on a day-to-day basis that you work with and have respect for (is ill), there’s certainly cause for concern,” Morse said.

Satz said he has been overwhelmed by support from his colleagues and others at the university.

Family and friends also continue to keep the provost strong while he receives treatment, he said.

“My greatest priority is working ‘full speed’ ahead at getting and staying well,” Satz said. “I am devoting my time and energy to doing what I can to promote my healing and to improve my health.”