The Provost Search Committee has been surveying five out of six provost finalists who have been visiting campus since October 18.
Provost William Williams, who has held his title since 2003, is retiring by the end of this semester.
The Provost Search Committee consists of a total 11 staff, faculty and students. Each candidate spends two days going to interviews and meetings around campus. The position description is available on the Provost Search site.
DonnaJean Fredeen, the dean of School of Arts and Sciences in Southern Connecticut State University, visited SRU on Wednesday and Thursday. Starting at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Fredeen answered students’ questions in an open session for candidate interview in room 321 in the Smith Student Center.
Jeff Isbell, a junior political science and philosophy major, asked Fredeen what makes her stand out from the rest of the finalists. Fredeen shares one of her strategies for solving problems.
“Listen to the issue not the person,” Fredeen said. “From there you can start to solve the problem.”
In Fredeen’s letter to Dr. Amanda Yale, the Associate Provost for Enrollment Services, Fredeen agrees with many of SRU’s commitments in “Reaching for 2025 and Beyond.”
Dan Williams, a junior athletic training major and SGA representative, asked what Fredeen knew about the PASSHE system.
“Very limited,” Fredeen said.
However, Fredeen is familiar with the school system in Connecticut and is willing to learn more about PASSHE.
Dr. Rajib N. Sanyal, the dean at Ball State University, was the first finalist and was interviewed on October 18 and 19. Sanyal has been a dean for a total of eight years and has spent half of that time in Northern Michigan University.
He got his Ph.D. from Georgia State University-Atlanta in business administration (Indust rial Relations). Some of his notable accomplishments were designing and implementing an on-line undergraduate major in business administrations and creating a strategic plan.
The second finalist, Dr. James H. Mike, the dean for the College of Arts and Sciences at Shippensburg University, was interviewed on October 29 and 30. In Mike’s letter to Dr. Yale, he mentioned that he would be a good candidate because he is already familiar with the PASSHE system. Mike earned his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry in the University of Cincinnati.
After Mike, Dr. Richard J. Helldobler came last Thursday and Friday for interviews. He has been the Dean of Liberal Arts in CalU and led Campus Compact for Shepard University of West Virginia. In his letter to the Search Committee members, he said that he has been an advocate for and successfully promoted diversity. Helldobler received his Ph.D. in Philosophy in Theatre.
On Monday and Tuesday, Dr. Philip K. Way visited the campus for interviews. Way has been an Associate Provost at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Director of the University of Cincinnati Honors Scholars Program reporting to the Provost Office and a Senior Associate Dean in the new college of Arts and Sciences (including Education).
Way wrote to Dr. Yale and to the Members of the Search of the Search Committee saying that he is qualified because he is accustomed in leadership roles in public universities that attach importance to undergraduate education.
The student session for the sixth candidate, the name to be announced, will be on November 13 in room 323 in the Smith Student Center. Each candidate’s interview schedules and curriculum vitae are available on the provost search site as well as the online feedback form.