The following message was sent to faculty and staff by the Interim Chief Operating Officer on July 11, 2023 – Ed.

Dear William & Mary Faculty & Staff,

I write to share that Debbie Howe will depart William & Mary for a new position with Old Dominion University in August. Debbie has served ably as Interim Chief Human Resources Officer for 11 months. As she begins this new role, we wish her the best.

With Debbie’s transition, President Rowe has paused the CPO search until we have created a roadmap for transformation in University Human Resources. I am pleased that Tawanda Johnson, principal at RKL Resources, will expand her current consulting duties to lead this process in UHR, reporting to President Rowe until our next COO is on board. Ms. Johnson’s focus will be creating a blueprint for UHR that addresses the current and future needs of this critical function. 

It is hard to overstate the importance to the university of securing a well-staffed human resources team that has a solid vision and blueprint for success; it is critical for William & Mary’s success as an institution and for each of us individually. 


Jackie Ferree

Interim Chief Operating Officer