Tech continues search for Provost

The search for a new Provost/vice president of academic affairs will continue this month as the search committee narrows the candidate pool, and brings finalists to Cookeville for campus interviews.
The search to fill the position has been ongoing throughout the semester. “I met with President Oldham in January when he appointed me to chair the search team. We hired a consulting firm, Greenwood Asher and Associates, to help us collect candidates. We have since narrowed it down to 10,” chair of the search committee John Rencis said.
The committee has selected to keep the candidates confidential until the finalists are slated for campus interviews.
“Right now, we’re checking the references for fewer than 10 candidates. After that’s done, we will ask three to five to come for campus interviews the weeks of April 22 and 29,” Rencis said.
Rencis said the campus interviews will be very similar to those hosted on campus when candidates for president visited last year.
“There will be various types of forums – some for deans, some for students and some for faculty. Everyone will have a chance to meet each of the candidates,” Rencis said.
 “The Provost/vice President is a very important position,” Rencis said.
The position governs many aspects of campus including student affairs, the Millard Oakley STEM Center, faculty research, and minority student affairs.
“We’re looking for a visionary and result-oriented leader and scholar. [He or she] needs to be an individual who has had a lot of experience with student success. That’s very important,” Rencis said.
The Provost/vice president of student affairs is also responsible for carrying out the Flight Plan as pioneered by President Phil Oldham.
 Clay Stubblefield, student representative of the search committee, said this is one of the most important aspects of the position.
 “The Provost has to be someone who can have a broad range of abilities and who really listens. [He or she] is the focal point for change on the campus, especially with regards to academics,” Stubblefield said.
Students are encouraged to take part in the campus interviews later this month.
“Students need to see if there are things they don’t like and bring those forward and make recommendations. If there are things that do work, let’s capitalize on them,” Stubblefield said.  “It needs to be someone who can make the changes happen.”
Rencis said he believes the search committee has found several worthy candidates. “We have a good pool. We were very pleased. We’re excited to bring them to campus.”
Interviews and forums will begin the week of April 22 and will be publicized on campus. For more information about the Provost/vice president search, visit tntech.edu/provost/.