University Searches for Next Provost

The University has appointed a 16-member advisory committee to search for the next provost, Emory’s chief academic advisor.

The committee, which plans to gather input from the Emory community, will select a new provost by late November or early December. The new provost will start next semester.

University President James W. Wagner appointed the advisory committee, which is headed by Candler School of Theology Dean Jan Love, according to the Provost Search website.

Current Provost Earl Lewis will leave Emory by the end of the year to become president of the New York-based Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the University announced in May. Lewis has served as provost for the past eight years.

Love explained that the provost oversees all academic programs and degrees in the nine schools of the University and also supervises the deans of each school. In addition, the provost is in charge of all faculty promotions, the granting of tenure and admissions for all of Emory’s undergraduate schools.

The committee is looking for a candidate who is capable of running a comprehensive research university like Emory, Love said.

College senior Ashish Gandhi, the SGA president and a search advisory committee member, also said the committee is searching for a candidate who will be able to manage the University’s many divisions while still staying true to Emory’s liberal arts identity.

“Emory wants to excel,” Love said. “We are already in the elite. We want someone who can chart a vision, so we not only remain as good as we are, but also become better.”

The committee currently has received 150 nominations or applications.

The committee will interview between 10 and 16 candidates in early October, and by early November the committee will narrow them down to five or fewer candidates, whom they will bring to campus, Love explained.

“We have some excellent candidates in the pool,” Love said. “There are some very talented people who can see Emory as a possible next step in their career.”

Gandhi feels it is important to include the entire Emory community in the selection process because he believes the decision will likely impact the entire University for 20 to 25 years.

“It would be irresponsible if we didn’t reach out,” he said. “It’s such a big decision, and it can’t be taken lightly.”

During September, the committee will review the active applicants. They will also hold 11 listening sessions, three of which will be open to the public in order to hear the opinions of the entire Emory community, Love said.

Love stressed that the committee has some extremely talented applicants, but they need to hear from the campus in order to look for someone who will benefit Emory in particular.

“We are looking for someone for not just any university, but Emory as one of the best universities in the country and the world,” she said. “We want to know what is special about Emory and how we can match it.”

According to Love, in late November or early December the committee will give Wagner the names of a minimum of three candidates, each of whom they feel would be an excellent provost.

Wagner will then make the final decision.

The first listening session will take place on Sept. 17 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Tarbutton Theater on the Oxford campus. The second session is on Sept. 18 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the School of Nursing auditorium. The final session will take place on Sept. 24 from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. in White Hall, Room 208.

— By Elizabeth Howell