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Informational Forum on Provost Search Gleaned Input

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
May 27, 2009

Saying there is “no more important job including my own,” President Mark Huddleston provided an update on the stalled provost search before committee members solicited input from those in attendance during an open meeting Friday, May 22, 2009.

The process of finding a new provost had been undertaken by a consultant and an 11-member search committee. Four finalists were winnowed down to two but both declined the offers made them, Huddleston said.

“For one reason or another, they could not see their way clear to make this work,” Huddleston said.

After answering several questions, the president left the forum and co-chair
Sheila McNamee, professor of communication, led the discussion.

“We’re here to take suggestions,” McNamee said, adding, “The search remains open.”

According to the consultant, McNamee said, if the search is closed, UNH will have to wait another year before beginning to look again because of a diminished candidate pool. That prompted the question: should the position be filled internally and the search resumed in one to two years?

Originally there were 18 candidates that the committee had “serious discussions about,” according to search team member Ross Gittell, James R. Carter Professor at the Whittemore School of Business and Economics.

“We still have a number of people we think are quite strong,” Gittell said, noting, however, that giving them  a second look, as several people in attendance suggested, is “not as clean a process.”

In addition to returning to the initial candidate pool, other options include closing the search and appointing an interim provost either for the short-term, reopening the search in a year, or naming a provost for a one to three-year term.

A list of search committee members can be found at http://www.unh.edu/president/markhuddleston/speeches/members.html. Comments or suggestions on how to proceed with the provost search can be emailed to webmaster@unh.edu.    

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