by President Susan Martin, Published May 13, 2011
Dear Faculty and Staff,
The hiring of a new Provost at this important time in Eastern's history is of the utmost priority. We must preserve and protect our academic mission and service to Michigan students, given the unique and unprecedented budget challenges we face, which are unlike any situation we have encountered previously.
Given the crucial short- and long-term decisions facing our institution, a strong leader of Academic Affairs is more important than ever so I have begun the search process by posting the position and inviting colleagues to serve on a search committee. Faculty input is a vital element of shared governance and critical to the search process. I have therefore requested the Faculty Senate, AAUP, and the AFT each appoint a member to the search team that will begin its work this month.
The Faculty Senate voted today to postpone appointment of its representative until September 7, 2011. The AAUP and AFT have not yet appointed representatives to serve on the search committee either. In the absence of faculty representatives on the search committee at this time, if you have suggestions or input on the appointment of either an Interim Provost or Interim Associate Provost, or other input on this process please send them to (email@example.com).
Some have questioned the need to begin the search process now. Two additional factors guided the decision:
Two misconceptions that I would like to clarify. 1) I do not intend to fill this position by the end of May or otherwise engage in an abbreviated process, or interview candidates on campus in July or August; and, 2) I do not expect the search to take two weeks nor in any way consider it similar to the hiring of a basketball coach. My point is that the sooner we get started on a thoughtful and deliberate process, the sooner we will identify a new leader for Academic Affairs. That leader then can initiate a search for an Associate Provost. I also hoped to get faculty input on the appointment of an Interim Provost through representatives on the search committee as well as the timetable and recruitment plan.
In 2010 about half of our faculty members were appointed for spring semester under the terms of their spring appointments and about 40% had summer appointments, providing opportunities for input and participation in the search process. In addition to their spring or summer pay, I also have offered $100 compensation per meeting to faculty representatives who serve on the search committee.
It is my firm belief that we will have a robust selection process and many highly qualified and talented candidates. We will not make this decision hastily, and will only conclude the process when we have identified the right candidate. As with past practice, finalists will have on-campus interviews as well as an open forum with faculty members.
The agenda for the initial meeting of the Search Committee is as follows:
The goal is to complete this search during 2011 so that we can begin the search for an Associate Provost.
There has never been a time like this in Michigan history. Unprecedented actions such as those we face on the budget front require partnership, understanding, and cooperation as we begin a rigorous process to identify the next new Provost of Eastern Michigan University.
As always, I welcome your thoughts, ideas and suggestions. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 734-487-2211.