On April 26, Drake announced the appointment of Susan Wright as the interim provost. Wright was selected to move from her current position as deputy provost to the new post after Provost Michael Renner announced his resignation effective May 31.
Beginning June 1, Wright will assume all responsibilities of the provost, said President David Maxwell. Other faculty members will be assuming different or new roles as well. Dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Raylene Rospond will serve part-time as deputy provost. Keith Summerville, associate dean of Arts & Sciences and associate professor of environmental science, will be co-chair, along with Rospond and former Provost and Senior Counselor for International Initiatives Ron Troyer, of the Strategic Planning Initiative being formed to guide the university through its next planning cycle.
Maxwell sent an email to all university students and staff last week saying he was “confident that we have an academic administration leadership team — including Vice Provost Wanda Everage, Associate Provost Art Sanders and the Deans’ Council — that offers both considerable experience and expertise and new perspectives as we move forward.”
As a part of her new post, Wright said she would continue to manage many of the responsibilities she’s already held as deputy provost.
“Some areas won’t be a lot different; I’ll continue to do quite a bit of what I have been doing,” she said. “There will be a lot of different meetings and I’ll be working more with the president to ensure there’s support for him and backup in terms of taking care of the entire academic division.”
She is beginning to meet with various administrators and divisions to decide which duties she’ll have to reassign.
She said she was not hesitant to accept the position.
“I think there’s a need to have someone there who has some experience and knowledge of a lot of the areas of the academic division,” she said. “I was glad to be able to do what I can to help things move forward during the next year.”
After Renner’s successor assumes the provost’s responsibilities, Wright said she will try to balance playing a role in his or her transition process with her retirement plans.
“I’m going to be flexible and see what the new provost would want, or what the president would suggest is an appropriate role at the time and how it affects my desire to retire in the not-so-distant future,” she said.
Maxwell said Drake will use a search consultant firm to seek applicants for the position. This strategy helps the university find people who may not be looking for a new job but who would be strong candidates, and allows the firm to handle a bulk of the search’s preliminary workload.
“A search consultant will manage all of that because it’s an awful lot of work,” Maxwell said. “You don’t want to say to a search committee that consists of faculty, students and staff, ‘On top of everything else you do, you’ve got to manage correspondence with 140 people.’”
The new provost is expected to begin work in June 2012.