Search for new Provost continues


Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter

In the hierarchy of Southern Connecticut State University, one of the most important roles and positions is that of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. As some students may have noticed in their owls email towards the end of last semester, the university is now going through the process of finding a new Provost for the university.

For many students, the position of Provost and Vice President of Student affairs is one which is not often discussed or talked about. However, the details of the position as described by Craig Hlavac, the chairperson of the Provost search Committee, illustrates the importance of the position.

“The position of Provost is one of significance;” said Hlavac, “as Chief academic officer for the University, the new Provost will oversee and manage all of the institution’s current and emerging academic programs.”

In short, the position of Provost means that whoever is elected and chosen to fulfill the role will oversee and handle the academic programs on campus. The position of Provost, in short, is a position of leadership within the school. As of Jan. 11 the university, as according to their website’s provost search section, detailed the status of the position of Provost and the school.

Former Provost Dr. Bette Bergeron will be leaving Southern Feb. 29 to take up a new role as Provost at the State University of New York at Potsdam. Last Friday (Jan. 8) Dr. Ellen Durnin, Dean of the School of Business, commenced her new duties as Interim Provost, which will continue during the tenure of the search.”

Now in the parting of Bergeron, the school, as mentioned by Hlavac, will need to conduct a search for a new Provost. The school has brought together a searching committee that will interview and review potentials for the position in the coming months, according to Hlavac.

“We will work closely and collaboratively over the next several months with Dr. Rob Holyer of AGB Search to formulate the position profile,” said Hlavac, “[then] recruit a strong and diverse pool of candidates, carefully review all applications, and select a group of distinguished finalists for on-campus interviews.”

In regards to the actual search which is mentioned by Hlavac, there is a schedule of Holyer’s first visit to Southern, which took place on Jan. 26, on the university website under the search “provost search.”

As a role of leadership at the university, it comes to fact that the President of the University also has a position and stance on the search. President Papazian notes the significance of the position as well as the influence it will have on the school.

“The position of provost is a critical leadership position on campus, overseeing the division of academic affairs. We are fortunate to have wondrous academic programs that are rigorous and well-grounded thanks to the work of our faculty and the leadership of our deans,” said Papazian. “At the same time it is important to have a strong academic voice coordinating all of our academic units, ensuring that academic issues remain at the center of all our decisions and that our academic programs have the resources they need to serve our students effectively.”

Though the search will take some time to be concluded, Papazian expressed her energetic hope leading towards the future of Southern.

“I am confident that the newly launched search for a new Provost will bring an innovative, dynamic leader to our campus to join our strong leadership team and to provide key leadership in implementing our newly adopted strategic plan.”

Photo Credit: Derek Torrellas 

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