Geneseo searches for provost and vice president of academic affairs

The search for a new provost and vice president for academic affairs is underway by the Provost Search Committee. The committee is comprised of faculty and students chosen by President Denise Battles. The Provost Search Committee will evaluate every applicant’s credentials and create a final list of candidates. Battles will then assess each of the finalists and select one to fill the position.

The provost and vice president for academic affairs reports directly to the president. The position’s responsibilities include working with faculty to oversee the college’s general education, baccalaureate and graduate programs. In addition, the provost and vice president for academic affairs provides academic and administrative leadership in all areas of the college and maintains the college’s overall vision, Chair of the Provost Search Committee and distinguished teaching professor of mathematics Chris Leary said.

“What I see as one of his or her main job’s is making sure the education that we provide our students is top flight and reflects the current state of the [college],” he said. “One of the provost’s jobs is to have a vision of what that means and how to accomplish that.”

In order to obtain such a vision, the provost and vice president of academic affairs must be attuned with trends and education, use resources creatively and have a shared concept of where Geneseo will be as a public liberal arts college in the 21st century, Leary said.

“We’re looking for someone who will be a strong leader in the academic affairs portion of the college, will help implement our new strategic plan and will work with the faculty to ensure that our curriculum stays up-to-date,” Leary said.

The Provost Search Committee is working with RPA Inc.—an executive search firm—to draft a job advertisement and a description of the position nationwide. RPA Inc. has been contacting people who are interested in the position, and the firm has also received nominations, Leary said.

Search Committee member and Student Association’s Director of Academic Affairs junior Alyssa Forbes said that she is looking for someone who wants to cooperate with the Village of Geneseo.

“We have a very collaborative community in Geneseo, so we’re looking for someone who is not only willing to work collaboratively across departments, but also across lines of the Geneseo village and our college in general,” she said. “We do have that mix of 5,000 undergraduates and 8,000 people in the village, so it’s a very common theme to work with them as well.”

The first review of the applications will proceed later this semester; the board hopes to announce who the next provost will be in late February or early March, Leary said. The new provost and vice president of academic affairs is expected to begin working at the college before July 1, 2017.

The Provost Search Committee wants someone who is passionate about Geneseo and willing to engage with the campus to fill the position, Forbes said.

“We’re a very well regarded university, not only within the SUNY system but in general on the northeast and in colleges across the board. We want someone who is going to represent that well and is going to feel as passionate as our faculty already does,” Forbes said. “Everyone at Geneseo loves Geneseo, and so we want someone who isn’t looking for this as a stepping stone to another job. We want someone who is willing to be here and be involved in our campus.”