Academics

Campus Chimes In As Provost Search Continues

by August Kissel & Lauren Schuster, Web Editor & Social Media Editor

Applications for the provost position were due on Nov. 22, and as the search for the new provost continues the Manhattan College community has begun to reflect on the role of the provost and their impact on the MC community.

“The provost is the chief academic officer in any college or university, and so that means that this is somebody who is incredibly intertwined in all academic matters not just for students but obviously for faculty as well. In terms of when we have questions about the ongoings of the college, really the top of that chain is the provost and for us the communication often goes to the provost, certainly before it would go to interact with Dr. O’Donnell,” said Ira Gerhardt, Representative from the Council for Faculty Affairs.

The college has created a provost search committee, whose role is to represent the College as the multifaceted community that makes up the school. This includes both the student body as well as the faculty and the administration.

“Reporting  directly  to  the  President  and  serving  on  the President’s Cabinet, the Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs  is  Manhattan  College’s  chief  academic  officer  and is responsible for the coordination and quality of all of the College’s academic programs. The six academic school dean’s report  directly  to  the  Provost […] in  the President’s absence, the Provost & V.P. for Academic Affairs serves as Manhattan College’s chief executive officer,” a statement from the executive search profile.

This role includes fostering both the Catholic and the Lasallian Identity on campus by encouraging student success and excellent teaching. Exploring new types of academic classes, like online options or other forms of a non-traditional classroom. Working to improve and maintain retention and graduation rates. As well as aiding in the process of securing funding for both graduate and undergraduate programming.

“For us, what makes a good provost is the balance this individual can find between financial management, academic integrity, and allowing faculty to pursue their research, develop a curriculum, and serve their colleagues, at the same time as providing a vision from the role of chief academic officer of more opportunity,” added Gerhardt.

The provost role is interdisciplinary among the six schools. The provost works closely with each of the schools to promote dialogue to create a connected community, while also highlighting the unique and important qualities within each of the student bodies.

As a result, the provost search committee includes a graduate and an undergraduate representative.

“The main quality that I think would make a good provost is to be open-minded and willing to listen to the concerns and comments of faculty and the student body. Also, to be willing to receive feedback,” said undergraduate representative Shanice Lyle.

The provost search committee was created to foster a strong representation of the Manhattan College community, as well as continue the work Clyde has begun.

“In terms of a new provost, we have to maintain the level of respect that the faculty and the administration feel for each other. It has to be built on transparent communication and you want somebody who’s going to come in, see the commitment that the faculty give, appreciates that, but also helps the faculty grow through a vision of what programs departments can develop, opportunities we can create for our students. So I think that that’s a common idea [among the faculty] is that we are going to be looking for someone who comes in with vision but also respects what we’ve built, and is always willing to work with us and hear us out. We’ve been fortunate that Dr. Clyde has been a valuable resource in that and we are confident that his successor will have a similar attitude,” said Gerhardt.

If you are interested in looking into the provost application process and the requirements of the provost position, it is available online at https://rhperry.com/newsearches/manhattanprovost#1

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