College begins search for a new provost to take office

The College of Wooster is in the midst of a search for a provost.

The Office of the provost is a new position, created during a period of administrative restructuring. The position of Vice President for Academic Affairs, previously held by Iain Crawford, has been recreated, and the Dean of Faculty position has been separated into two offices. The Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement, now Professor of Philosophy Henry Kreuzman, is responsible for student academic development, as well as working with the faculty and Class Deans to develop curriculum.

The new Dean for Faculty Development is Heather Fitz-Gibbon, who will work closely with faculty to provide opportunities for scholarship and furthering teaching abilities.

According to President Cornwell in a statement to the campus community issued July 31, a provost at The College of Wooster must fulfill many tasks. He states that a good provost must administer to the needs of the faculty, understand and promote the Collegeís mission and ìknow first-hand the interwoven joys and difficulties of research and scholarship.”

Additional duties, described in the official position announcement, include promoting both traditional and contemporary ideologies of liberal education, developing curriculum and resources and overseeing multiple administrative offices, including the newly-formed Dean for Faculty Development and Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement. The newly formed Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity and Global Engagement, when filled, will also assist the Office of the Provost.

The search for a provost began in late May, when a search committee of faculty, administrative staff, one student and one trustee were appointed.

Dean of the Faculty Shila Garg is currently serving as the campusís Interim provost.

President Cornwell and Search Consultant Dr. Tobie van der Vorm, of Academic Search Inc., lead the search committee. Van der Vorm previously assisted the College during its search for a president in the 2006-2007 academic year.

The search committee has met collectively three times, with the latest meeting being held today. The group is in the process of collecting applications for the position of the provost. According to a statement released May 22, the search committee gathered applications from recommenders on the faculty and friends of the College, advertisements, national education officials and candidates recommended by van der Vorm.

Next, the committee plans to narrow the candidate pool by late October or early November.

The top candidates will be brought to campus early in the spring semester. During these visits, students, faculty and staff will be invited to participate and interact with candidates. Student representative and Student Government Association President Alexander Jue í10 hopes students will actively participate in the last stages of candidates for a provost.

ìStudents need to know whatís going on outside of their academics,” he said. The committee will incorporate campus feedback after each visit into the final decision-making process, and they are scheduled to complete the search by the conclusion of the spring semester.

Feedback during the search project is both welcomed and encouraged. Questions, comments or potential candidates can be forwarded to van der Vormís e-mail ( In addition, the committee has established a blog to post updates and solicit feedback. The ìProvost Search” blog can be found at http://provostsearch.scotblogs.