University of Vermont

Former President Daniel Mark Fogel

Interim Provost Search

From: Daniel Mark Fogel, President

To: Board of Trustees, Vice Presidents, Deans, and Governance Groups
(Faculty Senate, Staff Council, Student Government Association, Graduate Student Senate)

CC: Campus Community

Date: April 23, 2009

Re: Interim Provost Search

Last month’s call for nominations and applications for the position of Interim Provost produced several strong candidates. I am now submitting three candidates for your review:

Richard Galbraith, Associate Dean, College of Medicine

Justin Joffe, Professor, Department of Psychology

Jane Knodell, Associate Provost

I would like to have your advice on this critical appointment within the next two weeks, and I am therefore asking Dr. Gary Derr to coordinate the process whereby trustees, academic and administrative leaders, and campus governance groups will have the opportunity to review the candidates’ credentials, to speak with them, and to provide me with confidential advice on their strengths and weaknesses. I hope to select an Interim Provost in time for ratification of the appointment by the Board of Trustees at the Board’s May meeting.

It is in my judgment imperative that we identify a colleague who combines the maturity, judgment, and integrity requisite for discharge of the duties of Provost with deep knowledge of the history of UVM, its culture of shared governance, and its administrative environment and with demonstrable commitment to academic excellence and diversity. Given the tasks and challenges that lie immediately before us, I would ask that you give special attention to leadership skills, competence with budgets and strategic resource allocation, capacity to supervise, mentor, and evaluate deans, and the resolution to make and execute decisions in order to focus resources on institutional effectiveness and competitiveness.

In the next year, the Interim Provost must:

  • Provide facilitative leadership, calling appropriate campus constituencies into participation in critical decision-making;

  •  Maintain in collaboration with Deans, Faculty Senate (FPPC), and Academic Quality Assurance Task Force focused attention to issues of academic quality that may arise from continuing budgetary constraints;

  • Supervise and guide the deans in their work, including new deans in several colleges and schools, and hold them accountable for achieving defined goals in their units;

  • Recruit deans in any colleges and schools in which the positions may not be filled with regular appointees;

  • Supervise, guide, and hold accountable the associate provosts and the vice presidents who are the Provost’s direct reports;

  • Ensure the success of the University’s enrollment management program, including advancing through governance and decision processes initiatives designed to enhance academic quality, the quality of the student experience, and UVM’s attractiveness to highly qualified and diverse students, and, more specifically,

  • Lead collective consideration of the recommendations of the Transformational Change Working Group with respect to development and implementation of a core curriculum for undergraduate student; an enhanced first-year experience; a Student Success Center combining academic, career, and personal counseling; and expansion of the opportunities presented to students by residential learning communities;

  • Ensure, in tandem with the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate College, that work proceeds through the Faculty Senate to identify, for focused investment, a small group of doctoral programs positioned to achieve national distinction, including both existing and proposed programs and, collaterally, support the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate College in critically examining support for graduate students, including potential reallocation of assistantships;

  • Intensify activities that support institutional effectiveness, including strategic planning, assessment, implementation of a new and more rigorous process for Academic Program Review, and any necessary follow-up work on the NEASC accreditation process;

  • Assert the primacy of the University’s chief academic officer as the University’s chief budget officer and work closely with the deans to assure transparent and strategic processes for allocating resources to colleges, schools, and academic support units;

  • Work effectively with the Board of Trustees to support the Board in discharge of its fiduciary responsibilities, including especially effective support of the work of the Board Committee on Educational and Institutional Resources;

  • Support the President in his work with both internal and external constituencies, including federal, state, community, alumni, and donor relations, represent the President in his absence, and discharge the duties of the President in the President’s absence or incapacity.”

I ask that you bear the foregoing description of the attributes, critical tasks, and duties of the Interim Provost in mind as you review the candidates and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. I greatly look forward to receiving your advice and counsel. Vice President Derr will forward you materials on the candidates (after inviting them to revise the materials previously submitted, if they wish, for this stage of candidacy) and will manage the scheduling of interviews that will culminate in meetings with me at which we will discuss the appointment. Thank you very much for your participation in this important process.

Last modified April 24 2009 06:18 AM

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