President Peggy R. Williams appointed 10 faculty members and one student to the Provost Search Committee on Jan. 31.
John Krout, director and professor of gerontology and chair of the committee, said the panel will screen and interview potential candidates during the next two months. He said the committee hopes to make a final selection by May 1 so the provost can assume duties before the next academic year.
“It’s very early on in the process,” he said. “[But] clearly, we’d like to have a person settle in place over the summer.”
Committee members include Krout; Susan Allen-Gil, associate professor of biology; Laurie Arliss, professor and chair of speech communication; Margaret Arnold, associate professor of therapeutic recreation and leisure services; Jill Cadby ’09, a clinical health/physical therapy major; Pablo Cohen, assistant professor of music performance; Donald Eckrich, professor and program director of marketing/law; Paul Hamill, director of academic funding and sponsored programs; Arthur Ostrander, dean of the School of Music; Roger Richardson, associate vice president for academic and student affairs/dean of First-Year Experience; and Steven Skopik, professor and chair of cinema, photography and media arts.
On Monday and Tuesday, the college’s search consultant,
Jamie Ferrare of the firm Academic Search, visited campus to meet with the search committee and staff from the provost and president’s offices to learn about the needs of the position.
“It helps me as I come back to Washington [D.C.] now and try to think about the kinds of people we should be recruiting and speaking with about the position,” he said.
Ferrare said he framed his conversations with faculty around what he believed were three fundamentals of the search: what attracts a candidate to the college and its campus; the challenges and immediate needs of the position; and personal and professional characteristics expected of the new provost.
Krout said Ferrare and his firm act as facilitators in attracting the most highly qualified pool of candidates. He said Ferrare provides extensive research on the candidates, which allows the committee to make educated decisions.
“The actual decision making, that’s not the consultant’s role at all,” Krout said. “But the information he provides we will use very carefully.”
According to Ferrare, advertisements for the position have appeared in several publications, including The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, Hispanic Outlook and Diversity and Black Issues in Higher Education. Ferrare said he has already received applications and hopes to solidify the first round of candidates in the next four to six weeks. Krout said typically, two or three rounds of cuts are made before finalists are invited to campus.
Both Ferrare and Krout said the ultimate goal of the provost search was not to meet a timeline, but to find a candidate that can effectively lead the college’s faculty and academics.
“If we’re not done by then, it just means we’re just not ready,” Ferrare said. “The committee would rather have the right person than rush and choose the wrong one. It’s our target and we want to get there. If it does, it does. If it doesn’t, that’s OK, too.”
Cadby, vice president of academics for the Student Government Association, said the opportunity to serve on the committee is an honor, but necessary to maintain communication between the office of the provost and students. She said though the provost does not interact with every student on an individual basis, decisions made by the office of the provost affect every classroom experience.
“If there is no student voice, students can’t be heard about what they want to achieve or get accomplished,” she said. “Provost Bardaglio was caring about what we were doing, and I hope the new provost can fill his role to the same extent.”