Search for new UCR provost progressing

The search advisory committee is seeking campus input

January 8, 2020
Author: Imran Ghori
January 8, 2020

The search for UC Riverside’s next provost and executive vice chancellor is nearing a crucial point with candidates expected to visit the campus in late February and early March.

The search advisory committee provided an update on the process at an open forum Tuesday, Jan. 7, in HUB 260. The meeting drew a packed room of faculty and staff members who offered suggestions on what qualities they’d like to see in the new campus leader.

UCR has hired the executive search firm of Isaacson Miller to help recruit and evaluate candidates for the position. 

A diverse pool of potential candidates has expressed interest from across the state and country, many of them attracted by UCR’s rising national reputation for research excellence and social mobility, said Monica Carson, the committee chair and a professor and chair of the biomedical sciences division.

The committee plans to interview the top candidates before choosing three or four finalists who will be invited for campus visits in late February and early March.

Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox will make the final selection, but the search committee will play an important part in advising him, Carson said.

The committee — which includes faculty, staff and student members — is meant to be a microcosm of the campus, representing the values and interests of a wide cross-section of the campus, she said.

The committee’s role is to gather information on the candidates, recommend the best pool of finalists, and rule out those who may not be a good fit for the university, while remaining attentive to issues of implicit bias, Carson said. The committee helped draft a detailed profile outlining the qualities sought in the provost.

Those at the meeting asked questions about the process and listed some attributes they want to see in the provost.

Among the suggestions were a provost who is committed to UCR’s value of shared governance, understands the importance of the research enterprise, is experienced with managing budgets, demonstrates leadership in roles such as a chair or head of a department, and has good interpersonal skills.

While suggestions may vary, a common theme is that the provost share UCR’s mission and values, Carson said.

“We want somebody who sees our strengths, has the experience to navigate our challenges, and can aid the chancellor and the community to come together on the great mission we have and support us all,” she said.

The committee has invited the campus to submit suggestions and nominations to provostsearch@ucr.edu, UCRProvost@imsearch.com, or an online survey. They will continue to accept input throughout the process. The search website will also continually be updated as the search progresses.