January 12, 2017
Dear members of the University of Oregon community,
As many of you may know, the Provost Search Committee has been hard at work for the past five months. The 17-member committee, which includes representatives from virtually all of the UO’s constituencies, has created a position description, built a pool of candidates, and conducted interviews with a wide variety of potential candidates. We are now at the stage of the process where we plan to bring some of them back to Eugene for more intensive interviews and recruitment.
The Provost Search Committee, in conversation with members of the search firm Russell Reynolds Associates and some of our candidates, has concluded that the successful completion of the search requires that we follow what is increasingly becoming the national practice: avoiding the sort of open search that we have previously employed for decanal candidates. If we were to follow past practice, a number of candidates would drop out of the process rather than compromise their leadership positions at their current universities.
We have consulted with University Senate leadership and the Faculty Advisory Council on how to move forward with the next step in the process in a way that carefully balances our need to conduct a competitive search with our desire to receive input from appropriate campus stakeholders. We have agreed that over the next few months, finalists will come to Eugene to be interviewed again by the search committee and by deans, vice presidents, the provost and his chief of staff, the senate president, and the president of United Academics. Following this process, the search committee will present their final recommendations to the president, who will ultimately make the hiring decision.
We are excited by the pool of candidates; they are an accomplished set of academic leaders capable of leading our university. We are also very grateful for the generous amount of work and dedication of members of the Provost Search Committee who are committed to finding our university the best person to be our next provost. While our process for selecting the next provost will be different than it has been in the past, in light of the inclusive nature of our search committee and our desire to hire the very best provost we can, we are comfortable with the process set forth above.
We look forward to providing you with more information in late February or early March.
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law
Geraldine Richmond, Provost Search Committee Chair
Presidential Chair and Professor of Chemistry