Patrick Norton has served Middlebury for 13 years.

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Tulane University has named Patrick Norton chief operating officer. The university’s president, Michael A. Fitts, announced the appointment today. Norton has been serving as Middlebury’s vice president for finance and treasurer.

In a May 23 email to all faculty and staff, Middlebury President Laurie Patton called the news “bittersweet” and said, “Patrick has served Middlebury brilliantly for 13 years and I hardly need to recount his many contributions to the institution. We have much to thank him for.”

Norton will remain at Middlebury until August. A search for his successor will begin in the late summer.

In her message, Patton also announced that Mike Thomas, associate vice president for finance and assistant treasurer, will take on the new role of vice president for finance effective immediately. He will lead the finance organization and will continue to report to Norton until August. Thomas also will join the Senior Leadership Group. Patton expressed her appreciation for Thomas’s stewardship of the budget process this spring, and for his work with a team of colleagues who are reviewing organizational structures and helping Middlebury to rationalize many of its operations.

Patton also stated in her email that, starting in August, Facilities, Dining Services, and Information Technology Services will report on an interim basis to Tim Spears, vice president for academic development. She cited Spears’s experience with some of these departments earlier in his time at Middlebury and mentioned her gratitude to him for taking on these added responsibilities during a period of transition.

A celebration of Norton’s service with Middlebury will be announced during the summer.