Our Opinion: Hope for New Emory Provost

Earl Lewis, Emory’s Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, will be leaving Emory at the end of the semester, and discussions for his successor have been ongoing since the beginning of the semester. We at the Wheel would like to stress the importance of this position and encourage students to be active in the selection process — one which will have a serious impact on Emory’s future.

The provost “formulates general University policy and academic priorities, works to ensure the appropriate allocation of resources and space, manages the promotion and tenure process, initiates crosscutting educational opportunities, and encourages and coordinates initiatives in undergraduate and graduate education,” according to Emory’s website. As Emory’s chief academic officer, the provost overseas the various deans and works closely with executive vice presidents, the board of trustees and, of course, University President James W. Wagner.

With regards to the recent department changes announced in mid-September, the provost had been aware of the discussion since 2009 and engaged College Dean Robin Forman and Laney Graduate School dean Lisa Tedesco while the specifics of the plan were being formulated.

In the upcoming month, the University will be bringing four finalists to campus for public forums and open discussions. The administration has encouraged students to attend the event, and we suggest that if students are looking to have a positive influence on this campus, these discussions are the place to start.

For the next provost, we believe that one of the biggest challenges will be healing the damaged ties between administrators and those faculty and students who feel that they have been wronged in the recent department changes. We hope the candidate chosen will align with the values and goals of Emory and, beyond all doubt, have Emory’s best interest in mind.

The above staff editorial represents the majority opinion of the Wheel‘s editorial board