ACU’s upper ranks include an Interim Provost and after this semester will include an Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, an Interim Dean of the College of Biblical Studies and an Interim Dean of the College of Education and Human Studies.
For anyone keeping score at home, this means ACU’s chief academic officer and three of the four deans of colleges will hold that position only until a permanent candidate is selected.
Though these are the people at the top of the ladder when it comes to deciding what happens in the classroom, we shouldn’t necessarily be alarmed. But we do need to be aware of the situation.
It is unusual for a healthy university to have this many leaders leave at one time. Stability is important within a university because current and prospective students are looking for an institution to provide them with an education, a degree and a reputation to back that degree down the road.
Instability on the administration side doesn’t immediately affect the students. Most students can’t name their dean, much less the provost or his responsibilities. But if it gets bad enough for faculty members to lose faith in the administration, the students will feel the effects.
But with change, the opportunity for growth increases. It is easier for new people to introduce a fresh perspective. A new boss is expected to come with goals and a plan to achieve those goals.
Among other responsibilities, the provost is a liaison between Dr. Schubert and the faculty. One of the two candidates up for the position, Dr. Darryl Tippens from Pepperdine or Robert Rhodes from New Mexico State, will also have final say concerning matters of curriculum, including CORE.
It is unsettling to see our university isn’t at its strongest. But we need remember that most things get worse before they get better. We hope this is ‘worse’ and with a new provost comes ‘better.’ Maybe he’ll even fix CORE.