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Senior Vice Provost steps down after two months of unknown job status


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The CMU seal sits in front of Warriner Hall Jan. 8.

After a month of inquiries from Central Michigan Life about Julia Johnson's job status at Central Michigan University, it was announced Oct. 26 that the senior vice provost for academic affairs is resigning and leaving Feb. 1. 

A University Communications press release announced Johnson's departure. They have been in the role of senior vice provost since June 1, 2020. Starting Nov. 1, geography faculty member Dave Patton will serve as interim for the role. Johnson has been on leave for undisclosed personal reasons since Oct. 1. 

Johnson met with at least one department to seek a position in the faculty before their leave of absence. Administrators had granted Johnson a tenured position in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work when they were first hired.

Since September, CM Life has tried several times to obtain updates on Johnson's employment amidst rumors they would be gone. 

Sept. 8 

CM Life reached out to Executive Director of Communications Heather Smith to ask if Johnson would be stepping down in the future. Smith said the university would have made that announcement if it were true. 

Sept. 30 

CM Life attempted to reach Johnson and received an automatic email reply saying they were on leave for the fall semester. 

Oct. 4 

CM Life emailed Executive Secretary for Academic Affairs Leslie Watters inquiring about Johnson. Watters declined to comment, but informed the university of CM Life's request. 

Oct. 7 

Smith responded by saying Johnson's leave is a personal matter the university cannot comment on. 

Oct. 21 

CM Life emailed Patton asking for confirmation that he would be the new interim senior vice provost replacing Johnson. Johnson's position was listed as vacant. Patton did not respond.


A chart showing the organization of administrative positions at Central Michigan University updated Oct. 21. Julia Johnson's position, shown highlighted in yellow, is listed as vacant. 


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