Fogel searches for next provost

President Daniel Mark Fogel announced his plan to pick a new second-in-command, according to an e-mail sent to the University of Vermont campus community Aug. 24. The position, also known as provost and chief academic and operating officer, holds incredible sway over all aspects of university operations, Vice President for Executive Operations Gary Derr said.   “In many ways, the provost is the internal president, responsible for managing and leading a complex organization,” President Fogel said. “The Provost has a pivotal role in defining which faculty positions will be recruited and has the final say in the promotion and tenure process. She is a linchpin of the institution.”     President Fogel named Jane Knodell  interim provost in July 2009, and she received a six figure raise, according to the 2009-10 List of Base Pay. The president will only be looking at UVM faculty members to fill the role, which is an uncommon practice for a position of such importance, chosen in part because it is faster, President Fogel said.   “Perhaps the most compelling reason relates to the key academic initiatives that are well under way, including the transdisciplinary initiatives,” he said. “Placing these efforts in abeyance for the year or more required for a national search would likely stall our progress as an institution.”   “I hope to have identified a candidate and secured consent to serve by end of the fall semester,” President Fogel said.    The search will be conducted by a 27-member committee composed of administrators, faculty, staff and students. Rex Forehand, professor of psychology and a Distinguished University Professor, will serve as chair, he said.     The committee will screen applicants and make recommendations to the president, but ultimately the president picks the provost, who is then approved by the board of trustees, Derr said.   “It is always Fogel’s final say,” Vice President of Student Government Association (SGA) David Maciewicz said.   Among the applicants will be interim provost Jane Knodell. President Fogel said that despite Jane Knodell’s service as interim provost, she is not a shoo-in for the full-time position.      “I think she has been performing extremely well in the job, and the University needs a highly competent person,” he said. “But this is a genuine invitation for all qualified and interested candidates to apply. We are deeply committed to giving every favorable consideration possible to every candidate who puts their name forward.”   SGA senator Daniel Filstein said he hopes that another candidate is selected.   “I’m in favor of Fogel and the board of trustees selecting another candidate,” Filstein said. “I think she did an inadequate job handling the [Transdisciplinary Research Initiative (TRI)] fiasco with regard to the faculty.”   The new provost will play a smaller role in the TRI initiative, Maciewicz said. “TRI dominated in the spring,” he said. “It has been approved by all the needed people.”