Last week, the students and faculty were informed of the college’s search for a provost. Many students ask, what exactly is a provost? According to most university or college websites, the provost of an academic institution serves as the chief academic officer and works directly with the president of the institution. In the broadest terms, a provost oversees academic policies and activities. Although Colorado College has had a provost in years past, there has not been one for some time. Now, as the college undergoes changes to its academic structure, the necessity has reappeared.
According to Lyrae Williams, the Associate Vice President of the Office of Institutional Planning & Effectiveness, “It was time for the college to reimagine its academic leadership structure.” This need to reimagine comes as CC continues to see a large growth in academic programs such as the Dynamic Half-Block and the Innovation Institute, as well as a subsequent increase in faculty and staff. As many students know, CC has also recently formed an alliance with the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (FAC). As the college continues to grow and execute its “Building on the Block” strategic plan, Williams said, “the provost position will strengthen the academic division and the college, and ensure that academic priorities are at the forefront.”
According to the college’s website, the person who fills the provost position will be able to deal with some of the administrative challenges that the college currently faces. Some of these challenges have risen from the new alliance with the FAC as well as new student programs. Williams says, “Collaboration and communication are even more critical. To best serve our students, we now need a Chief Academic Officer who has the experience and position, and scope to bring the right people together.” The provost for the college will be responsible for curating and developing a strong faculty as well as deciding on resource allocations to support the school’s academic program. More specifically, the provost will lead the college’s annual budgeting process and work to create an “intellectual hub” on campus through Tutt Library and The Center for Immersive Learning and Engaged Teaching (yet to be created). The provost will also be responsible for leading all academic building projects.
Storbeck/Pimental & Associates, as well as President Tiefenthaler, Paul Buckley, Dean Edmonds, and other CC faculty are managing the search committee responsible for filling the position. Sophomore Ethan Greenberg serves as the student representative on the committee. All nominations are sent directly to Storbeck/Pimental & Associates. The firm is responsible for talking to potential candidates as well as keeping the search confidential as many of the candidates may sit as provosts or deans at other academic institutions. Williams says, “the search firm also brings expertise in screening candidates for executive positions and providing organization and structure for a national search”. The firm was also involved in recruiting President Tiefenthaler in 2011.