Meredith College’s search for a provost, who will be charged with leading Meredith’s academic and enrollment management programs, is underway. Several important milestones have already been reached.
“In 2012-13, Meredith will be hiring its first provost, a position that typically serves as the chief academic officer of a college and may include additional, special duties,” said President Jo Allen. “For Meredith, the provost will not only be the chief academic officer—charged with ensuring the integrity and quality of our academic programs, as well as the entrepreneurial development of new programs that fit with Meredith’s mission—but will also oversee enrollment management and services.”
The provost will report directly to the president. The position also carries the title senior vice president, a title Allen said “further ensures the message that this person is ‘first among equals’ in the vice presidential ranks.”
The new provost will play an important role in helping Meredith reach goals outlined in the College’s new strategic plan.
“In our strategic plan, we have recommitted the College to its ongoing emphasis on educational quality, as well as to modest increases in recruiting and retention at the undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate levels. It is quite difficult to increase quantity of students and quality of students at the same time, and most institutions find themselves growing a bit in quantity and then catching up in quality—pretty much in a stair-step fashion,” Allen said. “At Meredith, it is critical that we manage those steps very carefully to preserve our reputation for outstanding quality. Having a provost who oversees both the academic quality and the growth in student population is a good way to ensure mindful attention is paid to both critical aspects of Meredith’s growth and future.”
President Allen and Professor of Psychology Cynthia Edwards are co-chairs of the Provost Search Committee.
Faculty, staff and administrators on the committee are:
The College has contracted the search firm RPA Inc. to assist with the provost search.
“We are excited to have enlisted RPA, a nationally recognized search firm, who will help with the search,” Allen said. “Our associate there has many years of experience with such searches and predicts that the Meredith position will be highly sought after by a large pool of qualified applicants.”
On October 22, Kate Nolde, an associate vice president from RPA Inc., spent a full day visiting Meredith. Nolde met with the search committee, and other constituencies including faculty, enrollment management staff, academic department heads, ELT and students. Faculty members had two opportunities to attend an open forum and share their views with Nolde.
“The purpose of Kate Nolde’s visit was for her to get to know us so she can advocate for us effectively ensuring a strong candidate pool and a good match,” Edwards said.
The job description went public with RPA Inc.’s network on Friday, Oct. 26. Meredith is conducting a confidential search for a provost. The nature of the search means the process now enters a quiet phase during which the search committee will not be able to share their progress with the campus community.
“Although such searches are confidential to ensure the strongest applicant pool possible, we hope to be able to announce on-campus interviews in the spring,” Allen said. “We will keep the community posted, as feasible given the confidential nature of the search, and look forward to welcoming a new academic leader to our community.”
The search committee will begin reviewing candidates in early December and will select finalists for campus visits early in the spring semester.
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