U creates new vice provost position for Academic Affairs

The vice provost will work to improve student learning and faculty development.

by Cati Vanden Breul

The University has created a new vice provost position and is in the process of reviewing candidates for the job.

The new vice provost for Academic Affairs will assist Senior Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs Tom Sullivan in managing the University’s promotion and tenure review process.

The new vice provost will also strengthen faculty development initiatives and facilitate faculty recognition programs, according to a job description posted on the University’s Web site.

Each applicant must be a tenured professor at the University and have a minimum of three years’ experience as a department head or chair, dean, assistant or associate dean, or another senior administrative position.

A search committee formed in July to gather and present a list of qualified candidates to Sullivan, urban studies professor and committee chairwoman Judith Martin said.

“The search committee is a representation of people from around the University,” Martin said.

Sullivan asked committee members to help him narrow the field and provide information on the candidates, to help make his decision.

“We made a list of people who we were going to especially encourage to apply,” said Theodore Lewis, professor in College of Education and

Human Development, and search committee member.

The idea was to have the position filled from within the University, he said.

“We arrived initially at a pool of seven internal people, and eventually invited four to be interviewed,” Lewis said. “We then reported to the provost on their strengths and weaknesses.”

Following the interviews, the search committee presented a list of three finalists to Sullivan, and the decision is now in his hands, Martin said.

According to the online position description, the vice provost will also work to improve student learning.

The person chosen will benefit both graduate and undergraduate students, Graduate and Professional Student Assembly President Abu Jalal said.

“Our opinion is that it is a step in the right direction,” he said.

The University has lost some famous professors in the past, Jalal said, but having a person in the new position should help draw new talent to the University.

“It will help us keep qualified (professors) Ö and bring more promising and excellent candidates to the University,” Jalal said. “We are happy to see that.”