Mendola, Overcash discuss new roles at Rollins Auditorium

Photo of LITS leadership in new roles

Marc Overcash (left) and Rich Mendola (right) discuss their new roles with LITS staff.

On Friday, March 13, following announcements regarding Emory’s leadership, Rich Mendola, Marc Overcash, and the executive team met with LITS staff in the Rollins Auditorium to outline the details of the changes at the top of the organization.

Earlier in the week, it was announced that Mike Mandl had taken the position of President and CEO of Emory Healthcare. This set in motion a succession of job moves, with Rich being named interim executive vice president for business and administration and Marc moving into Rich’s role as interim enterprise chief information officer and senior vice provost for library services and digital scholarship.

The interim appointments, which became effective on March 16, allow Emory to conduct a national search to fill the position being temporarily manned by Rich.

When making the announcements, President Wagner noted that “Rich has provided outstanding leadership for our information technology during the past decade and, more recently, for the libraries. Rich will report to me, and I welcome him to the executive team and to the Cabinet.” In addition to his praise for Mendola, Wagner also lauded Marc Overcash for his work in research technology support and informatics.

During the meeting with staff, Rich opened the proceedings by saying that “being asked to do this position is as much a testament to all of you as it is to me. There is no way [Emory’s leadership] would have thought about [this change] if they weren’t pleased with how the organization has been evolving over time. So, thanks to all of you.”

Rich also acknowledged that LITS has handled a tremendous amount of change in recent years and that it was going to be an opportunity for the division to participate in something “transformative for Emory.” He asked that staff support the transition and reminded everyone that LITS is still part of his portfolio for which he remains accountable. As such, Rich will continue to help guide the LITS mission.

Rich revealed that he had been tentatively approached about the possibility of assuming Mandl’s position only a few weeks prior and that the final decision was solidified the day before last Friday’s announcements. Rich moved into the role the following Monday, as did Marc.

Regarding the permanence of the promotion, Rich emphasized that the position change is only on an interim basis and that he does not intend to apply for the permanent position of Emory VP. “I love what I do here and I have every desire to return. I am going to come back as soon as I can.” Rich also stressed that LITS is in the best financial position it has been in years and that he and Marc do not plan to change the current direction of the organization.

One additional note is that Rich took over Mike Mandl’s entire portfolio, with the exception of the Wellstar negotiations which Mandl will continue to oversee in his role as CEO of Emory Healthcare.

Photo of new Interim CIO

Marc Overcash greeting LITS employees as they arrived at the Rollins Auditorium.

Marc Overcash, who greeted employees at the door of the auditorium, talked about telling his son why he would take a job with so many unknowns. It was because “we have fantastic leadership and fantastic employees who are fantastic thinkers. It was not a hard decision.”

“I could really use your support,” added Marc, “in making sure that we stay on path and continue to do the things that we intrinsically do because that is who we are.” Marc offered that LITS promotes the mission of Emory on a daily basis and he intends to bolster that mission to the utmost of his abilities.

Marc will report to Emory’s three executive vice presidents in his various capacities. His position as deputy CIO will not be temporarily filled but instead the responsibilities will be managed by Marc’s leadership team until he can return. Marc also announced that John Ellis‘ interim position as deputy CIO over Enterprise Applications, Services, and Infrastructure has been extended an extra year.

Following the speeches, Rich, Marc, and the leadership team took questions from those in attendance and from the 100 employees who logged in to watch the live streaming of the event via Adobe Connect.

“All right, that’s a wrap,” closed Rich. “Thanks for coming out…you are in good hands.”

[UPDATE: below is a video of the event captured on Adobe Connect. The video is taken via the original stream and is of low quality but the audio is good and will allow you to experience the meeting.]

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