UTEP announces provost search

Courtesy+of+UTEP

Courtesy of UTEP

Margaret Cataldi, Staff Reporter

UTEP launched its search for a new provost on October 

The newly formed search committee met for the first time on Friday, Oct. 18, to discuss the details of the search process. 

The search committee is led by Chairman Gary Edens, vice president for the division of student affairs, and includes ten other members from different areas and departments within the university.  

“The president gave a great deal of thought on who she wanted to have on the committee,” Edens explained. “It’s faculty, staff, there’s a student, so there’s a broad mix of people from different colleges and different histories here at UTEP.” 

UTEP President Heather Wilson received recommendations and feedback  from multiple university Deans and senior leaders across campus before selecting the committee’s members 

The role of the provost, also referred to as vice president for academic affairs, is to oversee all areas related to university curriculum, faculty appointments and other academics related operations.  

As stated under the job description on the university’s website, “The Provost provides visionary leadership to promote and foster research, scholarship, and student success in an institution committed to teaching. In addition, the Provost leads efforts aimed at enhancing student retention and degree completion.” 

The position has been vacant since the former Provost Carol Parker was transferred to the New Mexico State University to fill the same position last spring. Since then, John Wiebe has served as interim provost. 

The committee has received three applications since the job opening was announced last week.  

The search for the new Provost will be a lengthy process. Edens expects the committee to receive up to 90 applications 

Edens expects to finalize the search by February 2020.  

“We’re going to keep the process going until we find someone,” Edens said. “We’re moving about as expeditiously as we can.” 

Anyone looking to apply as the new Provost has an extensive list of criteria to meet.  

“We’re looking for somebody who has demonstrated exemplary leadership, whether it’s within a university or outside of a university,” said Virginia Fraire, current UTEP associate provost. Certainly, somebody who has a very clear understanding of the mission of the university.” 

Since UTEP was named an R1 research institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education in December of 2018, standards for the university have become much more prestigious across the board.  

“We are very proud of the fact that we’re in the top 5% of all universities in the country as far as research and academic quality,” Edens said. “That really puts us at a much higher level.” 

Applications and nominations for this position will be taken until Dec. 1.  

The full list of the Provost search committees members can be found at utep.edu/provostsearch, along with a detailed job description and instructions on how to apply for the position.  

Margaret Cataldi may be reached at [email protected]