The Board of Trustees approved Gireesh Gupchup, former dean of the SIUE School of Pharmacy, as the new system vice president at their meeting last week.
Gupchup said the position caught his interest not only because he had experience with academic affairs, planning and community partnerships, but also because of his experience in the School of Pharmacy as dean from 2010 to 2018. Prior to becoming dean, Gupchup had served as the school’s first associate dean after it was founded in 2003.
“I thought back to when I came here to SIUE to start the pharmacy school, and at that time, the entire system came together to help to make the pharmacy school successful,” Gupchup said. “SIUE helped a great deal, the system helped with the legislative issues, and we got a lot of help from Carbondale with courses. We were able to look at courses at Carbondale where students could take a pre-pharmacy curriculum there. So, the entire system came together to help and that has always stuck with me, that the system has the capability to collaborate.”
Gupchup said his plans for the future in regard to his new position include sharing more information with Academic Affairs and between campuses,By doing so, Gupchup hopes to help bring back this sense of collaboration and work toward a systemless vision for SIUE and SIUC.
“If all the campuses can come together and find a common ‘why,’ that’s really what we call systemless. You find those commonalities and then you can implement those [and] the common ‘why’ in different ways on different campuses,” Gupchup said. “Because we’re different campuses, and that’s the strength of a system, but coming together on the common ‘why,’ you’re going to get a much stronger solution.”
According to Gupchup, some of the job’s first challenges will be building trust, relationships and teams so faculty and staff across campuses can come together to create better solutions and focus on system-wide collaboration.
“There’s a book called ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins, and he talks about how organizations move from good to great. So that’s going to be my challenge,” Gupchup said. “How do we build trust and get, as Jim Collins’s example goes, how do you get the right people on the bus in the right seats so you’re going in the right direction with the correct team?”
SIU System President Dan Mahony said he is excited to work closely with Gupchup because he can offer a different perspective coming from a pharmacy background, compared to Mahony’s background as president of Winthrop University and dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services at Kent State University before coming to the SIU system.
“I think he’s a very, very innovative man. I think he will bring a lot to that position, and he’ll see things because he comes from a different background, being in pharmacy, as opposed to my background,” Mahony said. “[He] will probably see some opportunities that maybe I won’t see, so he’ll be really adding to our team.”
Jim Allen, who served as the interim system vice president prior to Gupchup’s approval, led the search committee to select the new vice president. Allen said Gupchup’s interview was another factor that made him stand out. During the interview, he shared ideas for developing a system-wide strategic plan.
“He is a charming, expansive, enthusiastic, thoughtful person when you talk with him … His interview style also struck people particularly strong — not style, but substance of what he had to say, what ideas he brought to the interview. He really was first-rate, I have to confess,” Allen said.
Learn more about Gupchup and his past experience by reading his biography on SIUE’s website.
July 15, 2020 at 06:03AM