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Search committee outlines qualifications for next provost, aims to finish end of 2023

Great+progress+has+been+made+in+the+search+of+a+new+provost+to+replace+Ben+Vinson+III.
Helen Treseler / The Observer
Great progress has been made in the search of a new provost to replace Ben Vinson III.

The Provost and Executive Vice President Search Committee advanced their search process this summer, with the goal of announcing a hire by the end of the calendar year. The search committee is chaired by Stanton L. Gerson, dean of the School of Medicine and senior vice president for medical affairs, and is composed of faculty, staff and undergraduate and graduate student government presidents.

This follows President Eric Kaler’s May 2 announcement that Ben Vinson III, provost and executive vice president, would be leaving CWRU June 30 to become president of Howard University.

Gerson said the July 25, July 31 and Aug. 4 listening sessions for faculty, staff and students, respectively, are influencing the position’s job description with emphasis placed on CWRU’s mission and communication across community stakeholders.

“We are finishing up, based on those listening sessions, a job description for the provost and recognize that we want an accomplished individual with broad expertise at the level of the university and leadership, appreciation of the missions of the university and an understanding of the importance of education, diversity, inclusiveness, support for a wide range of backgrounds and career objectives at every level: student, staff, faculty,” he said. “So it’s someone who’s comfortably positioned in that all-essential, intermediate role.”

An outside search firm, Education Executives, LLC is assisting the committee in the process of developing a candidate profile, interviewing candidates and presenting finalists to President Eric Kaler and the Board of Trustees.

“The process has been engagement with a search firm who’s very experienced in the upper echelons of university recruitments, especially private universities, and the two leads have both been provosts, so they understand the job very well,” Gerson said. “The committee has done a series of motions to understand the needs and objectives and the personality [and] background of the individual we’d be looking for.”

The search process will be kept confidential to maintain the privacy of candidates.

“We do it confidentially only to protect [the candidates] and the process, but we’re hoping that our committee will be as inclusive as it needs to be so that the right candidate pool can be selected, and, of course, it goes up to the board and the president for final approval,” Gerson said.

Continuing to gauge which qualities community members prioritize in a provost and executive vice president, the committee has a feedback form to anonymously provide input into the search. According to Gerson, another listening session will be forthcoming.

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About the Contributor
Téa Tamburo, News Editor
Téa Tamburo is a member of the Class of 2027, and she is studying finance and economics. Prior to joining The Observer, Téa served as an editor-in-chief of her high school’s nationally ranked paper, The U-High Midway, where she was named to the 2022 Illinois All-State Journalism Team. In her spare time, she enjoys fashion styling and drinking boba and coffee.

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