Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

Three finalists picked for provost

Our Co-Editor-in-Chief Ryan Jenkins played no part in the reporting of this article.
The search for a new provost and vice president of academic affairs has reached its next phase with the selection of three finalists from the search committee yesterday.
The search is in regards to finding a successor to Dr. Pareena Lawrence, who will be leaving Augustana to become President of Hollin’s University in Roanoke, Virginia.
On-campus interviews with the candidates will take place on Apr. 10-12. The search committee, which is an advisory committee, expects to have their recommendations to President Steve Bahls before Easter.
“I expect that President Bahls will finalize his decision by the end of the April,” Dr. Kathy Jakielski, chair of the provost and VPAA search committee, said in an email.
Dr. Gail Summer will be the first candidate to visit campus on Apr. 10. She currently serves as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Ferrum College in Virginia.  Dr. Summer holds an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Teaching from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
The second candidate, Dr. Michael Green, is a familiar face at Augustana as he taught at and served as one of the associate deans prior to engaging in the position of Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, and Professor of Humanities, at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania. Dr. Green will have his interview on Apr. 11.  He holds a D.M.A. in Trombone Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa.
Despite his connection to the college, Jakielski sees no influence in their decision-making for the members of the search committee, but admits there may be bias from others.
“We are committed to identifying the best person for the position.  For other members of our community, I suppose it is possible that they will have a bias toward (or against) him, based on their interactions with him when he was here,” Jakielski said.
Dr. Christopher Taylor will be the final candidate to visit campus on Apr. 12. Dr. Taylor currently serves as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Drew University in New Jersey.  Dr. Taylor holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University.
“The search committee began the initial work by creating a search profile that outlined the responsibilities of the position, as well as the traits we are looking for in our next provost,” Jakielski said in an email. “Our final three candidates were selected after reviewing their written applications, speaking with five references, and interviewing them at a neutral site. In consultation with President Bahls, the three finalists were selected.”
Students are encouraged to participate in the selection process by attending the Open Reception for each of the candidates, which will be held from 4-5 p.m. in the Wilson Center. More details about the interview schedules and times will be sent out in an email from Mary Koski.
A survey will be sent out to the college following each candidate’s visit.
The search committee began evaluating applicants and narrowed the pool of candidates to conduct eight off-campus interviews in mid-March. The three finalists were selected from these candidates.
In addition to each candidate meeting with different constituent groups throughout the day, they also will present and take questions during two forums — one scheduled in the morning and the other in the afternoon, according to Jakielski.

“The members of the Search Committee are looking forward to introducing you to the candidates. We also look forward to student participation in the interview process,” Jakielski said.

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Three finalists picked for provost