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Campus invited to weigh in on provost search

By Kimber Williams | Emory Report | Aug. 27, 2012

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Provost search

What does Emory need to look for in a new provost?  

To best answer that question, the Provost Search Advisory Committee is seeking input from the campus community on what kind of attributes they would like to see in candidates being considered to succeed Provost Earl Lewis, who is expected to leave Emory by the end of the year.  

Lewis, the Asa Griggs Candler professor of history and African American studies and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has been named the next president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in New York City, a position he will assume early next year.  

Candler School of Theology Dean Jan Love, who has been appointed to lead the 16-member search advisory committee, says the national search process for Lewis' replacement — which has been under way since June — will incorporate the opinions of faculty, staff, students and alumni.  

"The provost serves as chief academic officer of the University," Love says. "In that regard, the position should be of wide interest to everyone, because after the president, this person really shapes the forward motion of the institution."  

"It's a wonderful position and an extraordinary opportunity for leadership," she adds.  

In order to capture a full range of campus perspectives, a series of listening sessions will be held across the University, including three opportunities open to everyone:  

  • Sept. 17, 4:30-6 p.m., Tarbutton Theater, Oxford Campus

  • Sept. 18, 4:30-6 p.m., School of Nursing Auditorium, Emory Campus

  • Sept. 24, 4:30-5:45 p.m., White Hall, Room 208, Emory Campus

"As a committee, we're eager to make sure we have a comprehensive understanding of concerns and perspectives across the entire campus," Love explains.  

"We need to hear what kinds of characteristics people think are important for the provost here at Emory — a large, dynamic research university with a number of dimensions that distinguish it in higher education."  

In addition to public forums, the search committee will hold eight private listening sessions in late August through September with specific stakeholders — such as the President's Cabinet, Faculty Council, Employee Council, Alumni Council and Student Government Association.  

The search committee is seeking candidates who have administrative and academic leadership experience and are outstanding scholars and teachers, qualified for tenure in their chosen disciplines and capable of leading the academic enterprise by example, as well as decree, Love notes.  

To aid in the search, nationally known consultant William Funk has been retained to help solicit nominees who would be a good fit with Emory from other Association of American Universities (AAU) and comprehensive research institutions.  

The committee is also advertising in a number of national publications, including those that reach higher education professionals, women and persons of color — a strategy that has already yielded a diverse group of nominees.  

"We have a very talented pool and we expect it to only get richer," Love adds.  

The campus listening sessions will be used to narrow the list of candidates to a group of semi-finalists in October, with plans to bring finalists to campus for interviews in November.  From that pool, three names will be submitted to President James W. Wagner, who will make a final decision.  

The Emory community is encouraged to participate in the search by attending listening sessions or visiting www.provostsearch.emory.edu, where they can follow news about the process, email individual committee members, leave comments for the entire committee, or submit nominations, which may be sent directly to Love.