April 12, 2021
One of the most critical positions in the university is clearly the Executive Vice President and Provost. We have been very fortunate to have our Vice President for Research, Dan Jaffe, serving as our Interim Provost, but I have heard several questions regarding our search for the person who will fill the position. I wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with an update.
As many of you know, it is important to preserve the anonymity of prospective candidates, most of whom are currently in leadership roles in other universities. In addition to not being able to share who those candidates are, I also cannot share where specifically we are in the search process – these searches are fluid, and disclosing the activities taking place at the moment can deter or discourage candidates who are still in the running. As I’ve heard many say of such searches, “Everybody is a candidate until the job is filled.”
I can, however, elaborate upon the steps that the process entails. With your help, we formed a search committee that includes elected faculty members and appointed members selected to represent the breadth of different constituents in our campus community. The announcement for the provost’s position has already been posted (see this link). From here, the process is as follows:
Prospective nominees are identified and proposed.
The search committee reviews prospects and shares recommendations with the president.
Once a slate of first-round candidates has been finalized, they are interviewed by the president and search committee.
The search committee then shares with the president its recommendations to further refine the pool of applicants.
Members of this refined pool then undergo further interviews with representatives from university leadership, including the interim provost, deans and other direct reports to the provost, as well as faculty, student and staff leaders (including the co-chairs of the three faculty Equity Councils).
Additional feedback is collected (from those interviewers) and shared with the president.
Using this feedback and other information from references, etc., the president will determine to whom the position is offered – or, the president may elect for more interviews from a further refined pool (followed by more feedback) in order to arrive at a decision.
I appreciate the interest of our community in this important search. Recognizing that the process can be frustrating, I hope for a shared appreciation of the fact that the vast majority of those who apply for the provost position desire to preserve confidentiality around their candidacy. In order to balance that desire with our own commitment to shared governance, we have constructed the process in such a way that gives voice to the values, aspirations and concerns of our campus community.
I am optimistic that we will find an exceptional provost who will join us in the work of becoming one of the very best universities in the world. In the meantime, I am very grateful for all the hard work of the provost search committee, and I look forward to sharing news of a new provost in the near future.
Thank you for all you do, and special thanks to those who are directly involved in this search.