The search for a new provost

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A picture of Provost sign. Photo by Mary Kate Leonard

The University of Dallas is conducting a search for a permanent provost. Currently, Dr. Tammy Leonard is the interim provost and has held the position since June of 2021. 

Heading the search for a new provost is the president of the university, Dr. Jonathan Sanford. He initiated the search process, and it is his job to appoint the provost. 

Sanford formed a search committee. “The search committee consists of eleven faculty members and two members of the Board of Trustees,” said Ryan Reedy, chief of staff for the president’s office. “The job should be posted very soon at which point we will begin seeking nominations and contacting prospective candidates.” As of now, the committee is working on the job description.

Recently, Sanford met with the search committee to thank them and to discuss the varied aspects of being a provost, since he himself has had experience with the position.

Sanford said that the purpose of the committee is to suggest at least three candidates to bring to campus. The final candidates for the position will be brought to campus around February or March of 2022. “We plan to bring finalists to campus in the spring, and we hope to have the successful candidate in place by July 1, 2022,” Reedy said.

The committee does not decide which candidate will ultimately become the new provost; the final decision rests with Sanford. 

When asked what qualities he is looking for in a new provost, Sanford said: “I’m looking for somebody of deep prudence, who loves the education that we provide at the University of Dallas and is an articulate defender of that education, both of its Catholicity and its commitment to the liberal arts. Somebody who is a team builder, who has experience in academic leadership, and can exercise the kind of virtues that you need to coordinate efforts with all the different areas and looking for somebody who’s an established scholar.”

This process is a long one. Due to the fact that the applicants for this job currently occupy similar roles in other colleges, they usually are obliged to complete the academic year in that same role, which means Leonard will remain interim provost until the end of the spring 2022 semester. As of now, the new provost will assume their position on July 1, 2022. 

The provost holds a significant position. Knowing this, the committee will search for the right person to fill the role, and ultimately, Sanford will have the final say. Regardless, in July the new provost will be welcomed to the UD community. 

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