By Riley Gentry. Staff Writer —
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga began the search for a new Provost, or Chief Academic Officer, following the retirement of the previous Provost, Jerald Ainsworth, in December of 2017.
“Since that time we have had an interim-provost in the position until such time we could hire someone for the permanent position.” said Dean of the College of Business Dr. Robert Dooley.
George Hynd is currently serving as interim-provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for academic affairs. However, a new provost should be announced the first week of April.
An interim search was conducted in the fall of 2018 but with no luck in finding the right person for the job. With a new year having just started, UTC decided to start another search for a Provost that would be perfect for this campus.
According to Chancellor Angle, this new search began with a call for applicants across the country to try and get them to apply.
From those applications, a campus wide search committee consisting of faculty, staff, senior administrators and students, selected 10 people for preliminary interviews.
Chosen applicants came to Chattanooga and met with the search committee for about an hour and a half. The top four candidates were picked to move on to the next phase of the search.
This next step in the search was to conduct forum sessions for each candidate to partake in.
“The forum sessions provide the opportunity for the campus community to hear each candidate’s assessment of the opportunities and challenges facing UTC, learn about the candidate’s background, and ask pertinent questions,” said Dr. Dooley.
Student were allowed to attend the forum sessions and provide feedback on each of the candidates.
Chancellor Angle said there was a session held for students put on with the help of SGA. According to Chancellor Angle student input is very important as the position available serves students.
Chancellor Angle said that students may not fully understand what a provost does, but they should trust the process of selecting a new one.
“Relying on us to do a good job to get someone who will listen to students [and] who will interact with them,” said Chancellor Angle.
When it comes to the criteria UTC is looking for in a new provost, Chancellor Angle said that someone who has academic credentials and understands UTC’s programs is right for the job.
“Someone who’s been a faculty member and knows what that means and understands it, someone who has held leadership position, and someone who can manage people and relate to people and get things done,” said Chancellor Angle.