Search for provost nearly complete

The search for Geneseo's next provost has narrowed down from almost 70 applicants to just three, each of whom will be visiting campus this month.

Charlotte Borst, the provost of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., specializes in the history of science.

Iain Crawford, the vice president for academic affairs at the College of Wooster in Ohio, specializes in English.

Jay Harper, the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J. specializes in psychobiology.

The candidate who is selected will serve as the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Geneseo, and will be expected to provide academic and administrative leadership in all areas of the college.

A search committee, made up of 10 students, faculty and staff, narrowed down the applicant pool to nine semi-finalists who were interviewed at the Greater Rochester International Airport, and then chose the three finalists.

Candidates must have earned a doctorate in their field and achieved the rank of professor, served as a senior administrator at the level of dean or above and have financial acumen and planning experience, among other qualifications.

Search committee chair Wendy Pogozelski, chemistry professor, said the committee is looking for a candidate who can "take Geneseo to its next level of excellence." She said that passion for higher education, strong communication skills and transparency in decision making are key qualities the committee is looking for in the applicants. "We're very pleased with these three [finalists]," she said.

English professor Eugene Stelzig, also on the search committee, said he was seeking "someone that wants to make a difference in high quality liberal arts education."

Calvin Gantt, director of Access Opportunity Programs, said that as a representative for the staff, he hopes to find a candidate who understands that "what we do crosses over academic affairs and student affairs" and who appreciates the "different responsibilities and different relationships with students" that staff have as opposed to faculty. He said he hopes the new provost will have a very visible presence on campus and noted that the provost is second in command if the president is temporarily unavailable.

All three finalists will visit the campus this month for extensive interviewing by all constituents and will also be available at open forums where students will be able to interact with them.

The search committee will make a final recommendation to President Dahl, who will select the new provost on March 2. The new provost will assume office on July 1.