University President Lee Bollinger is expected to name an interim provost as early as this week as the search for a permanent replacement for Nancy Cantor continues.
Cantor, the first woman to hold the University”s second-highest academic post, left in July to become chancellor of the University of Illinois” Urbana-Champaign campus.
Meanwhile, Bollinger and several vice provosts have assumed the provost”s duties.
“Things have worked out very well,” said Lester Monts, vice provost for academic affairs.
Bollinger selected a 13-member search committee in June after Cantor announced her decision to leave the University. Gary Krenz, special counsel to the president and head of the search committee, said there is a possibility the post could be filled permanently by the end of the semester.
“The search is going well,” Krenz said. “This is one of the most attractive provost positions in the nation.”
The provost supervises all of the University deans and also oversees the University”s budget.
“The provost really has a broad responsibility for the academic programs of the University,” Krenz said.
The University”s position as a selective public research institution appeals to many applicants, and Krenz said he expects the search committee to encounter many qualified candidates.
The University has a reputation for being “one of the most complex, interesting places in higher education,” said University of Utah President Bernard Machen, who served as provost of the University of Michigan from 1995-1997.
“The provost”s job at Michigan is the best job at the University and the worst job,” he said “It allows you to get involved in every aspect of the University.”
But the position also carries an immense array of responsibilities, Machen added.
The University is working with a consulting firm to identify possible candidates from across the nation. However, it has been nearly 25 years since a provost has been selected from outside the University community.
“The most important thing is to find the best person,” Krenz said. “We want someone who understands what life is like for faculty and students at an institution such as this.”