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Internal Search for Interim Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Inclusive Excellence Announced

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It is with great reluctance and sense of loss that I have received and accepted Dr. Wanda Mitchell's resignation as the founding Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Inclusive Excellence. Wanda has been at the heart of UNH's drive to become a more inclusive, welcoming, supportive and diverse community for nearly a decade.  She has had a major impact on who we are and how we recruit and support our faculty, staff and students, as well as on plans and accomplishments at the state and national level.  We can be glad for her new opportunity to grow professionally and serve another campus at Virginia Commonwealth University, but she will be sorely missed here in Durham, and across New Hampshire.

Given that the process by which Wanda was selected for the position at VCU was not concluded until very recently, there is not sufficient time to do the kind of in-depth national search called for with a position of this importance.  Therefore, I am initiating an internal search for an interim vice provost to assume Wanda's responsibilities.  Major areas of activity and preferred characteristics of the successful candidate, are highlighted below.  More information about the work of the vice provost can be found on the office's website.
The internal search will follow a process similar to the one used successfully in two recent internal, interim dean searches. 
By this letter, I am soliciting nominations for this position.  Any member of the UNH community can submit a nomination to Helen Brewster in the Provost's Office.
Self-nominations will also be accepted, and all nominations should be submitted by Sept. 15.  All those nominated will be contacted by my office and asked if they are willing to be considered.  All those who are willing will be placed in the candidate pool.  After that pool is established, I will appoint a review team to evaluate and recommend 2-4 candidates for consideration by the campus community, who will then participate in a brief set of on-campus interviews and presentations.  With input from the community, I will choose one of these candidates to serve in the interim position.  My hope is to complete this process by early October.
As with any change in personnel, this transition also offers the opportunity to re-evaluate the roles and responsibilities of the position.  That review will be part of the process of describing the permanent position, which will be filled through a national search.
Thank you for your participation in this important process, and I look forward to hearing from you.
John Aber
University Professor and Provost
Major Responsibilities of the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Inclusive Excellence
General responsibilities and goals of the position:
Beyond the specific responsibilities listed below, the most important role for the incumbent in this position is to foster a climate of civil discourse based on inclusiveness of diverse experiences, histories, and cultures across the entire spectrum of university activities.  As such, the vice provost will be engaged in conversations and processes related to hiring, development, support and retention for faculty, staff and students whenever and wherever that input is needed.  With the full support of the president and provost, the vice provost will be the point leadership position in fulfilling the "Inclusive Excellence" initiatives in the University's Strategic Plan.  The vice provost reports directly to the provost and is a member of the provost's council.
Responsibilities for this position are to:

  • Direct and coordinate new faculty orientation program
  • Direct year-long new faculty development program  – supervise faculty fellow
  • Provide leadership for the Office of the President's Commissions
  • Provide leadership for support and review of the minors program.
  • Provide input in planning for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration
  • Chair and facilitate the work of the Kidder Fund
  • Provide input on the social justice educators program
  • Serve on President's Athletic Advisory Council
  • Serve in a number of advisory and leadership capacities on campus related to the advancement of Inclusive Excellence, including:
    • Input and training for all major leadership search committees
    • Leadership development support for department chairs
    • Guide and assist departments and organizations in promoting and advancing inclusive excellence initiatives and opportunities.
    • Serve as the university's representative, and where appropriate provide leadership, for state-wide and national organizations and initiatives related to inclusive excellence.

Characteristics of candidates sought for the position include:

  • Significant dedication to, and experience with, promoting inclusion and supporting diversity through leadership of programs or organizations on campus
  • Significant managerial and supervisory experience
  • Experience in working effectively with others in positions of leadership (deans, chairs, etc.) across the university
  • An understanding of current issues related to inclusive excellence at UNH, such as the impact of a growing international student population and potential changes in undergraduate demographics
  • An ability to challenge existing cultures and operational environments in a productive but persuasive way