By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer
In a shift that removes one of the final vestiges of former President Frank Horton’s administration, the University of Toledo has accepted the resignation of Dr. James Pope as dean of the college of business administration.
Dr. Pope will return to teaching with the college’s faculty. Dr. Henry Moon, UT provost, has named Dr. Thomas Sharkey, a business professor, as interim dean.
“We respect Dr. Pope’s decision to focus on teaching, and we wish him well,” Dr. Moon said in a statement.
Dr. Pope had been the only one of UT’s nine academic deans who held the post under Dr. Horton, who resigned on Dec. 31, 1998.
With Dr. Pope’s departure, UT President Vik Kapoor and Dr. Moon will have had the chance to replace all nine academic deans at the university. A search committee will be formed shortly to lead a national search for a new dean, Joe Brennan, university spokesman, said.
Dr. Pope’s resignation will be effective Feb. 1. For the remainder of the spring semester, he will be on administrative assignment to prepare his coursework for the fall, when he will return to teaching.
Reached yesterday at his office, Dr. Pope said he had no comment other than to confirm that the university had accepted his resignation.
Dr. Pope offered that resignation more than a year ago. In December, 1998, he sent a letter to Dr. Kapoor, who was about to take office, offering to resign. “That’s just common courtesy,” he told The Blade at the time. “He’s the new president, and he deserves that courtesy.”
Mr. Brennan said that resignation never was formally accepted or rejected, but that when Dr. Pope asked to return to teaching this week, his previous resignation offer was accepted.
Dr. Sharkey has been with UT’s faculty since 1984. He served as interim dean in 1997 and 1998, when the dean search that eventually found Dr. Pope was ongoing. Dr. Kapoor was one of the members of that search committee.
Before coming to UT, Dr. Pope was dean of the college of business at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, a post he had held since 1992.
Of UT’s nine academic deans, only three have the job on a permanent basis, and all three were named by the current administration: Phillip Closius of the law school, Dr. Laurene Zaporozhetz of the university library system, and Dr. Ronald Fournier of the engineering college. Interim deans run the colleges of business, education, pharmacy, arts and sciences, health and human services, and university college.