Beth Paul to remain Interim Provost

The search for a new Interim Provost and vice president of Academic Affairs has been temporarily delayed because of the College’s financial crisis. During the postponement, Elizabeth Paul will continue to serve as a temporary replacement.

“After consultation with a lot of individuals, I determined that this was simply not a good time to conduct a national search,” College President R. Barbara Gitenstein said in an e-mail.

Paul said the challenge of dealing with the recent budget cuts has used up a lot of “institutional energy.”

“This leaves us feeling that conducting a national search for provost – a very intensive campus-wide effort – is not prudent at this time,” Paul said.

Matt Golden, director of Communications and Media Relations, said in an e-mail that while delaying the search makes sense now, the College plans to find a new Interim Provost and vice president of Academic Affairs in the future. Golden said a national search at this time would be too costly and time consuming.

“Given the strain that the (state) budget cuts have caused – both financially and in terms of personnel – and the fact that we have an outstanding individual serving as the Interim Provost, it made sense to delay the national search,” Golden said.

While Gitenstein acknowledged that the budget was part of the reason for delaying the search, she added that the timing of the search was a factor.

“We need to consolidate some of our decisions from last year and make sure that we are on sound footing for attracting a strong pool of candidates,” Gitenstein said.

Gitenstein set a timeline for beginning the search in a campus-wide e-mail sent last week. In the e-mail, Gitenstein said the national search would begin with the addition of professors Christopher Fisher, Thomas Hagedorn, John Karsnitz and Michael Robertson to the search committee on April 15, 2007.

According to the e-mail, “Between April and August 2007, the committee will be able to complete its work of helping to choose a search firm and to develop a job description.”

“There have been many positions, in a range of campus departments, that have not been filled because of the state budget cuts – approximately $1.5 million worth,” Golden said.

Additionally, some positions and departments have been changed or restructured because of the cuts, including the elimination of the positions of director of Legal Affairs, director of Equity and Diversity and dean of Academic Services.

Some departments, rather than being eliminated, have been combined. For example, the Civic Leadership Development Program, which facilitated social service projects for first-year students, has been united with the Bonner Center for Civic and Community Engagement. The Bonner Center, according to the College’s Web site, “coordinates community-engaged learning and community-campus outreach efforts at the College.”