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The Blue & Gray Press | May 20, 2018

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Provost selection expected in March

By MARIAH YOUNG

Provost candidates finished meeting with the University of Mary Washington community and the administration expects to make a final decision on the selection by mid-March.

The community-wide meetings allowed for students and faculty to voice their concerns and ask the potential provosts any questions that they had, according to President Rick Hurley.

“The candidates met faculty and staff in key leadership positions and vice versa which is what you want in a search,” said Hurley. “We also gave everyone a chance to meet the candidates and the turnout was normal for this type of search.”

There were originally three candidates that applied for the position. President Hurley notified students this past Sunday that Sheila Gutierrez de Pineres withdrew from the search.

“She was made an offer she couldn’t refuse,” said Hurley.  “I have no idea if the offer came from another institution or her home campus.”

The process will continue as planned because there has not been a decision to bring in other candidates for the search.

“Except for the withdrawal of one of our finalists, the search process has gone very well,” said Hurley.

The search process began after Provost Jay Harper resigned in March 2013 after three years at the university. Interim Provost Ian Newbould was selected to serve for the 2012-2013 school year last April. The university brought in the Registry of College and University Presidents to contract him for this school year.

The applicants for the search are Karen L. Olmstead and Jonathan Levin.

Olmstead is the dean of the Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology at Salisbury University. She received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Entomology at the University of Delaware and holds a doctorate from the University of Maryland, according to her Curriculum Vitae on the Provost Search website.

She has taught at the University of Maryland, the University of South Dakota and Salisbury University, while also holding administrative roles at Salisbury and South Dakota.

Olmstead led “a major campus effort to increase the number of STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] and science [and] math secondary education majors and graduates which is supported in part by a NSF [National Science Foundation] grant,” while at Salisbury, according to her Curriculum Vitae.

Levin received his Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan, his master’s from the University of California, Los Angeles, and holds a doctorate from Rutgers University, according to his Curriculum Vitae.

He taught at Columbia University and Fordham University and also held administrative roles at State University of New York and Drew University.

While at Drew University, Levin helped increase the percentage of underrepresented minorities while also increasing the GPA of incoming students.

Levin “helped complete the strategic plan with emphasis on enhancing academic excellence and expanding global, civic, and professional engagement opportunities for students,” according to his Curriculum Vitae.

Both applicants spoke at community meetings where they shared information about themselves and answered questions from the audience. After the meetings all students were sent a survey asking their opinions and thoughts on each candidate.

Hurley plans to use those surveys to help in the decision-making process. He will review comments on the two finalists and speak to the search committee.

SGA President Jeremy Thompson is excited about the level of involvement students have in the provost selection process.

“The president specifically asked that students be involved in the process,” said Thompson.  “We are glad that we are able to help make a decision that will help chart our educational future.”

Following that, there will be an offer made to one of the finalists, or a decision to bring in other candidates.