Search for provost narrows to three candidates

In the search for a new provost, St. Edward’s University has narrowed down a pool of candidates from over 100 to three. One of them is Elizabeth Gill, who currently holds a position at Canisius College.

On Jan. 29, faculty met in Mabee Ballroom for a presentation where Gill showcased her strengths as a potential provost. She highlighted challenges she anticipated facing if she is offered the post and faculty had an opportunity to ask questions.

“It is a remarkable institution, it has been on a tremendous growth trajectory. This is what attracted me to St. Edward’s,” Gill said. “St. Edward’s has been tremendously successful but it is subject to the same pressures that most higher ed institutions are facing.”

Some of the challenges she mentioned were low enrollment, high discount rates and maintaining the integrity of the catholic mission while still being progressive and responding to the demands of an evolving global landscape.

The university said they are looking for someone who “will partner with deans to strengthen the academic schools and will work to develop new and innovative programs, improve retention and graduation rates, and advance the goals established in Strategic Plan 2022.”

On Feb. 1 and 2, respectively, the two other candidates will present their strengths before university faculty.

What are the responsibilities of a provost and why does it matter?

According to the University of Northern Michigan University’s web page, the university provost is “the university’s chief academic officer and under the president is responsible for the creation and implementation of the academic priorities for the university and for the allocation of resources that will support those priorities.”

The university solicited the help of a company that specializes in all aspects of search for higher educational institutions, called AGB Search. According to a post the university wrote for the company’s website, the provost “reports directly to the President, serves as a member of the President’s Cabinet, and is responsible for the University’s undergraduate and graduate programs.”

They will also provide leadership to the deans of the five schools on campus and the academic administrative offices including Academic Affairs, Global Initiatives, Academic Support, the Munday Library, the Registrar and Sponsored programs, according to the job post.

Sister Donna Jurick has served as Provost since and will give over her responsibilities to the new provost July 1. She joined the St. Edward’s administration in 1988.