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Provost search update

Message to Wake Forest faculty and staff from the Provost Search Committee

The Provost Search Committee, being chaired by President Nathan Hatch, has now met twice and our search process is well underway. Importantly, one of our very first tasks was to convene a series of four “listening sessions” in May, facilitated by the committee members and open to all faculty and staff. We are very grateful for the time participants gave to these listening sessions, especially during one of the busiest times of the academic year.

The purpose of the sessions was to give the campus community an opportunity to reflect and comment on three broad issues:

1. In what positive ways has the University, and particularly the academic enterprise, changed in the past four years? What are the highlights that we should be sure to stress in order to attract top-notch candidates to consider the role?

2. Given the changing context nationally and within Wake Forest, what challenges and opportunities will be on the plate of the Provost in the first two or three years in the position?

3. Given those challenges and opportunities, what do you feel are the most important professional skills and personal attributes that we will need to seek as we search for the best person to fill this role?

As a group, we heard a consistent and positive set of themes emerging from these meetings, and found the conversations to be very optimistic in tone.  The major themes are now being integrated into the position Prospectus, an important document that will define the opportunity for sources and prospective candidates.  The Prospectus will be finalized by mid-June and will be posted to the Provost search website (http://search.provost.wfu.edu/).  Once the prospectus is completed, the search consultant will work actively to identify potential candidates.  The official announcement of the position will be in the Chronicle at the opening of the school year.

The search committee actively invites candidate nominations, both internal and external, from the Wake Forest community.  Faculty or staff who wish to nominate an individual for the position may do so by contacting any member of the search committee.  Names will be forwarded to Lisa Prigohzy-Milius, our search consultant, for appropriate follow-up.

The goal of the search, as stated in President Hatch’s April 27th letter to the campus community, is to conduct a national search to identify and recruit a candidate of the highest caliber with the unique combination of academic and leadership talents our students, faculty and staff deserve.  It is the desire of President Hatch and the search committee to fill the position as soon as possible, and we are all committed to moving the search forward on an ambitious timetable.  Quality is the most important factor, however, and the search will conclude only when the best person is found. As a search committee, we feel we are positioned very well to attract superb candidates, and we have every confidence that our process will bring a superb new Provost to Wake Forest.