The search for the university’s next provost began last semester with the formation of the provost search committee.
Dr. Phil Schubert, president of the university, sent an email to all university faculty and staff Thursday announcing the members Provost Search Committee.
Schubert said the committee was to begin the search process immediately.
Dr. Stephen Johnson, dean of the Honors College and chair of the committee, said the committee has already met twice since the committee was revealed.
“When we met for the first time, we were organizing our work process,” he said. “We organized the committee’s timeline and the work that lies ahead.”
Schubert said he expected the search process to take at least all of the spring semester. Johnson echoed that thought.
“We’re hopeful that when right person for the position is identified, he or she would begin the appointment on or before June 1,” he said. “More time is allowed if needed, however. It’s not a deadline but a goal.”
Johnson said the committee is beginning to seek input from faculty and administration as to what qualities they expect from the new provost.
“The committee aims to involve the faculty, academic leaders and Dr. Schubert to construct a desired profile for the position,” he said. “We’ll be listening to the characteristics they think are important for the chief academic officer of the university.”
Johnson said Schubert will be involved in the search process in many different facets.
“The committee will ask Dr. Schubert for his perspective on the potential provost’s profile, and he’ll also participate in the interview process when we reach that stage in the search,” Johnson said. “And ultimately, once the committee has concluded its work to advance a recommendation to the president, he will make the final decision of hiring the provost.”
Dr. Greg Straughn was named interim provost last month after Schubert asked Dr. Jeanine Varner to step down from the position before the end of the semester. Straughn said the transition experience has gone as smoothly as possible.
“Any time there’s a change in the middle of the year, it’s an unusual situation,” he said. “Dr. Varner has been incredibly professional and gracious and she’s been extremely helpful.”
Straughn said he hasn’t yet decided if he will apply to be provost.
“I think it’s too early to make any decision like that,” he said. “I’m open to it, but I really want to make sure it would be the right decision for me and my family.”
In addition, Dr. Nancy Shankle, assistant dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, has agreed to serve as both interim director of the Adams Center and interim assistant provost for general education in January, according to an email from Varner. Shankle is currently a professor of English and serves as liaison between ACU and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Info Box: Provost Search Committee
Dr. Stephen Johnson, chair
Dr. Rodney Ashlock
Dr. Orneita Burton
Dr. Laura Carroll
Dr. Sheila Delony
Dr. Monty Lynn
Dr. Gary McCaleb
Dr. Greg Powell
Dr. Jonathan Stewart
Slade Sullivan, J.D.
Dr. Autumn Sutherlin