College Update

Monday, November 8, 2010

This year is proving to be one of transition in Academic Affairs. Just three months ago we welcomed Dr. Kathleen Plinske to Valencia as the Osceola Campus Provost. Last week we bid farewell to Dr. Kaye Walter as she starts her new assignment as President of the Indianapolis Campus of Ivy Tech. This afternoon we wish Dr. Jared Graber a long and happy retirement after many years service as a professor, dean, and provost. We’ll miss him.

Meanwhile, we’ve just completed a search process for a new provost of the West Campus. After much reflection over the feedback from more than a hundred staff and faculty, I have reached the conclusion that we have not yet found just the right leader for the West Campus. Therefore, we will need to start a fresh search for this position with the intention of filling it by June 1, 2011 and we will need to appoint an interim provost for the spring.

New West Campus Provost Search
With help from some of you, I have drafted a redesigned process for the Provost Search to include a fairly large search committee, an active recruitment process, an open opportunity for the talent both from within and without the organization to be engaged in the search, a face-to-face only interview process over a three day period for each candidate, and extensive involvement of various groups at the campus. In Step One, I will convene the search committee and revisit the draft design of the search prior to the end of the term. The search design will be published to the college. Advertising for the position will commence in January. We will make every effort to give plenty of notice to all faculty and staff as the interviews and forums approach to assure as much participation as possible.

Interim Provost West Campus
Clearly, we will need an interim provost for the West Campus to serve until a new Provost is on board. We, of course, have many talented leaders in the college who might step up to this task. I will make the selection, with counsel from the Faculty Senate, Deans, and others, and will begin by asking any persons who are interested in this role to notify me by writing an email letter of application for the Interim Provost outlining the nature of your interest, your background, and your hopes for the work ahead. Please have these in my email box no later than November 22, 2010. I will interview and make a decision during the first two weeks of December.

Transitions are often challenging, but also exhilarating. This is a time to imagine where we might go together in the future and look for new leadership for the next leg of the journey. I continue to visit classrooms, staff meetings, and many of you one-to-one in my effort to listen like a first-year president and am learning much about the opportunities and challenges experienced deep in the college. Most of all I am invigorated by the passion we all share for the work.

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