The Maneater

Chancellor to announce new provost before fall semester

As of May 9, every candidate has been on campus to participate in open forums involving students, staff and faculty as the final step in applying.

Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies Jim Spain is now serving as interim provost. Photo courtesy of Mizzou Undergraduate Studies

A new provost is expected to be announced by Chancellor Alexander Cartwright before this fall, according to Marshall Stewart, Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement.

Jim Spain, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies and eLearning is currently serving as interim provost after former provost Garnett Stokes took a job as president of the University of New Mexico.

Stewart serves as co-chair of the provost search committee alongside Joi Moore, a professor with the College of Education and School of Information Science & Learning Technologies. They were appointed as co-chairs last December. The committee works to write up the position descriptions and meets with the candidates, the chancellor, students and staff throughout the search process.

In addition, UM System hired Isaacson, Miller for $139,597.70 to narrow down candidates and submit to the committee. Tim McIntosh, director of UM System’s Office of Human Resources, said that Isaacson, Miller sent about two dozen or so candidates to UM System for further review.

From there, 11 candidates were invited to St. Louis Lambert International Airport for in-person airport interviews. On May 9, the final four candidates visited campus for hour-long presentations and question and answer sessions with members of the audience.

The final decision for MU’s next provost will be made by Chancellor Alexander Cartwright. Stewart said that the committee put together a list of pros and cons for the chancellor to review in making his decision. Stewart said that the committee does not rank candidates nor does it recommend a provost to the chancellor, but simply provides him its opinion on each person. Each member of the committee wrote up their own review of each individual candidate using their own personal interactions as well as information from an online survey for anyone who attended the open forums that was made available from May 14 to May 17.

In addition, Stewart and Moore hosted open forums for students, staff and faculty to attend and provide feedback on what they’re looking for in a provost or, as of most recently, to meet the candidates and ask questions.

The candidates were also given the opportunity to reach out to and work with individual departments and offices, Stewart said. Some candidates met with the deans of each college and others met with every faculty department chair or staff to the chancellor.

“It’s a variety of meetings,” Stewart said. “They’re usually here for two days and they have a lot of stuff going on.”

As of May 15, MU has spent $162,623.47 on the search for the new provost, covering the cost of Isaacson, travel, technology, advertising and committee meetings according to reporting done by ABC 17 KMIZ.

Stewart said that in being chair of this committee, his main role was to ensure that the members of the team were productive and in a good work environment throughout the search process. He said that being part of the search team requires an understanding of how to hire people with respect.

“It’s really important that the committee feel like they can be honest and forthright and also have some degree of digression and confidentiality, because you’re dealing with people's lives here and that’s really important to remember,” he said. “All of these people that apply for these jobs are extraordinary people, they’re very qualified, and what you want to do is show tremendous respect and our committee did a great job of that.”

He also said that it’s a tremendous honor to have been chosen to co-chair the committee with Moore.

“It’s great to be asked by your chancellor to do this, to have the trust from the chancellor and the campus community,” Stewart said. “It’s a very important trust and we took that very seriously because you’re really looking at critical leadership role for the future of the campus and for students.”

Stewart said the chancellor hopes to have the provost hired over the summer so they can settle into their new role before fall semester. The timeline on the chancellor’s website states that the provost announcement is to happen before June.

Edited by Morgan Smith | mosmith@themaneater.com

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