The first announcement about Dooley's paid leave can be read here.
UCF interim President Thad Seymour has named Michael Johnson, dean of the College of Sciences, to serve as interim provost while the university looks into concerns that led to Seymour placing Provost Elizabeth Dooley on administrative leave on Jan. 10.
“Because we do not have a defined timeline for Provost Dooley’s paid administrative leave, I believe it is in our best interest to name a full-time interim provost,” Seymour said in a Thursday news release.
Johnson takes the place of Jana Jasinski, vice provost for Faculty Excellence, who was named by Seymour to serve as acting provost when Dooley was placed on paid administrative leave.
Knight News made several requests for UCF to provide transparency regarding the concerns, but UCF spokesman Chad Binette said in a Thursday email the university will not be discussing the topic.
“Provost Dooley remains on paid administrative leave. As President Seymour’s note mentioned, we do not have a timeline for the duration of her leave,” Binette said in an email. “Administrative leave can be used for a variety of reasons as outlined in UCF regulation 3.040 (17). We are not elaborating on the concerns, out of respect for Provost Dooley’s privacy and the process that is ongoing.”
Binette cited UCF-3.040 (17) in a Thursday email, which lists three possible subcategories.
According to UCF’s Human Resources policy:
“For A&P and USPS, administrative leave and pay status decision under this section will be made by the CHRO or designee. If paid, administrative leave under this section shall not count as hours worked for purposes of calculating overtime and shall not accrue. An employee may be placed on administrative leave for the following:
(a) If it is determined that the employee’s presence in the workplace may result in damage to property, or injury to the employee or others.
(b) When the employee is under investigation.
(c) Where deemed appropriate to unique or specific circumstances related to the employee and/or if determined to be in the best interest of the University,” according to the UCF HR website.
In the records request, Knight News obtained the formal notice Seymour sent to Dooley on Jan. 13 — three days after the announcement was made regarding her paid leave — citing UCF-3.040 (17) (c).
“Where deemed appropriate to unique or specific circumstances related to the employee and/or if determined to be in the best interest of the University,” according to the policy, available on UCF’s Human Resources website.
In his Jan. 10 statement, Seymour said Dooley was aware and agreed to the situation.
“She agreed this decision allows her to temporarily step away while we work to fully understand concerns that have been raised, and I appreciate her commitment to cooperate,” he said.
The former vice provost for Teaching and Learning and dean of the College of Undergraduate Studies had been serving as the interim provost since April 2018.
Dooley served as interim provost before the Provost Search Committee, led by Johnson, selected her in October 2018 to fill the role full-time, according to her change in position announcement written by former UCF President Dale Whittaker.
Johnson has been at UCF since 1990, starting solely in the Department of Physics but eventually working in numerous roles in university leadership.
According to Johnson’s bio, he has served in the IT Governance Committee, overseeing academic global programs, chairing dean and provost searches, serving as associate dean and interim chair, and he also has served several years in the provost’s office dealing with faculty collective bargaining agreement negotiations, grievances, and discipline.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.