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The Dartmouth
February 27, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Search committee for next provost named

College President James Freedman announced yesterday the appointment of a seven-member search committee to find the provost to succeed James Wright, who announced last term that he will step down from his position after June 30.

Wright's decision stemmed from faculty criticism that Freedman deviated from the normal procedures in the search for a new provost.

Freedman appointed Wright, who had been serving as acting provost since January 1997, as the permanent provost last summer without consulting a search committee.

This time, a formal search process will be conducted, but the committee will not begin activity until Freedman's successor asks its members to begin the process.

"This will give the new president an opportunity to reshape the position, if he or she desires, and of course to make the final decision," Freedman said in a College press release.

The College's Presidential Search Committee will submit a list of recommended candidates to the Board of Trustees sometime this spring.

Religion Professor Ronald Green will chair the provost search committee, which will also include Biochemistry Professor Constance Brinckerhoff, Art History Professor Kathleen Corrigan, Business Administration Professor Sydney Finkelstein, Engineering Professor Ursula Gibson, Medical School Professor George Langford and History Professor Leo Spitzer.

The committee has been appointed early, Freedman said in the press release, in order to speed up the search process once the president arrives.

"In the meantime," Green said, "I hope to be thinking, learning and engaging in conversation with the other committee members."

Green said he also plans to review "very actively" what has been done in previous provost searches. As in other searches, Green said he hopes to put together a nationwide pool of candidates, as well as stimulate candidate nominations from within the Dartmouth community.

As to what qualities the committee will look for in a provost -- the second highest-ranking administrator at Dartmouth -- the committee will constantly consult the new president in order to find a provost who will directly complement the president, Green said.

In addition, the committee will elicit responses from faculty, administration, the provost's office and students, in order to make the search as thorough as possible.

Last term, close to 60 percent of the College's faculty signed a petition to express support for making Wright the provost for a full four-year term after he announced his resignation.

The provost is the chief academic officer of the College and oversees the operations of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration, the Thayer School of Engineering and the Dartmouth Medical School.

The provost also oversees a wide variety of departments, such as the College's library and computing systems, the Hopkins Center and Hood Museum and the Dickey Center for International Understanding and Tucker Foundation.