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Radford University begins search for new provost

Radford University begins search for new provost


Radford University is in the midst of searching for its sixth provost since the position was created in 2007.

Graham Glynn served in the role beginning in July 2017 and lasted less than four months before being reassigned to a faculty position in the Artis College of Science and Technology’s Department of Biology where he has tenure. Kenna Colley, dean of the college of education and human development, has served as the interim provost since then.

The role the provost is an important tie between administration and curriculum. One of the main jobs of the provost at RU is to budget and administer academic programs to strategically manage fiscal priorities.

The university’s Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer Chad Reed and Faculty Senate President and Professor of Anthropological Sciences Jake Fox will be co-chairing the hiring committee.

Reed said the committee includes various stakeholders around campus from a variety of departments. It has 22 members not counting Reed and Fox, according to an email students and faculty received from President Brian Hemphill earlier this week.

Consulting firm R. William Funk & Associates of Dallas was chosen by the university to collect the pool of candidates from which the committee will choose. The firm was chosen due to its reputation and work with other universities such as Clemson University, Emory University and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, among others, Hemphill said.

“R. William Funk & Associates has a keen understanding of the critical role this position plays and has conducted many Provost searches for other major institutions across the country. … Funk & Associates has a proven track record of success. As such, we are fortunate to have their active engagement and vast experience throughout this comprehensive process,” he said.

Radford is paying the agency $75,000 for the search and will cover additional costs incurred by Funk such as travel, according to university spokeswoman Ashley Schumaker.

The committee will review the candidates at off-site interviews to be conducted the week of Nov. 11, after which the committee will whittle the list down to “hopefully three or so finalists,” Reed said Thursday. Hemphill’s announcement said final interviews will occur on campus the week of Dec. 2. The new provost would likely start July 1.

In a previous Roanoke Times article, Fox said Glynn was removed because “there were some issues with his management style and way of communication. The president felt strongly that we needed to make a change and he acted quickly.”

Fox declined to discuss the issue in an interview Thursday afternoon.

Hemphill, who has the final say on the hire, said he will be relying heavily on the search committee and other campus stakeholders to provide feedback on the candidate pool.

“I am specifically looking for an academic leader who understands the rich history and strong tradition of Radford University, while also focusing on our bold and promising future as articulated in the University’s strategic plan, ‘Embracing the Tradition and Envisioning the Future.’ The selected individual will be a key collaborator and driving force in our collective ability to move forward with our plan and fully achieve our goals,” he said.

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