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Provost search starts after committee election hiccups

Photo by Rick Treur.
Photo by Rick Treur.

After initial confusion over electing the committee, the provost search committee has started looking for a new provost and plans to have a candidate by the beginning of February.

The difficulties in the beginning stages of the committee stemmed from technical and communication difficulties.

“Initial communication soliciting faculty nominees for the election did not clearly state that committee members must be on campus in January for candidate interviews,” said Judy Vander Woude, co-chair of the search committee.

As well as not being clear that members had to be on-campus for interim, the ballot to elect members of the committee didn’t send successfully to every faculty member.

“The software for the election ballot did not support Outlook 365 well,” continued Vander Woude, “so not all faculty received the emails announcing the election rounds.”

President Michael Le Roy, the other co-chair of the committee, was not available for comment.

The new provost will replace Claudia Beversluis, whose term ends this June. The Provost is second in leadership at Calvin College, and is chief academic officer.

Beversluis’ original term was set to end last spring, but was extended after Le Roy asked her to stay on for strategic planning and prioritization.

According to the provost opportunity profile, the committee is looking for specifically a Reformed Christian candidate with a “rigorous intellectual capacity” and “the gift of listening and clear communication.”

Faculty, staff and the board of trustees all had input into what the provost search committee is looking for, and their opinions show up on the provost opportunity profile, according to Vander Woude.

“The descriptions [on the opportunity profile] are outcomes of surveys and on-campus focus groups held with faculty, staff and the board of trustees earlier this fall,” said Vander Woude.

The committee will consider candidates both inside the college and external to it.

“[The provost] will play a key role in nourishing vision and building for future faithfulness amid financial challenges and rapid cultural and technological change and will concretely address issues of sustainability in ways that are effective and sensitive,” the opportunity profile for the provost said.

Each of the three elected committee members comes from a different academic division in the college — arts, language, education; natural sciences and mathematics; and social sciences and contextual disciplines.

A Calvin student is not on the search committee, but a student panel will be consulted before the decision is made.

About the Author

Ben Rietema

Ben Rietema is a Chimes on-call writer for the 2013-14 school year. Being from Boulder, CO, I have in my possession Birkenstocks, long hair, and use the adjective “tight” quite a bit. I enjoy what some might call an over fondness for carrots that gives me eyesight that can pierce through walls, and apparently, I like reading because I’m an English major.

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