UConn’s search for a new provost is almost over. According to reporting done by the Daily Campus, the university has narrowed the selection down to three candidates, each of whom are currently serving as senior administrators at other public universities across the country. The three candidates will take over the seat left vacant by Mun Choi, who left UConn back in January to become president of the University of Missouri system.
The candidates are Craig Kennedy from the Univeristy of Georgia, Sam Mukasa from the University of Minnesota and Chaden Djalali from the University of Iowa. All three candidates will come to UConn this month to participate in a series of open forums for students and university members to ask them questions about their ability to fill the role. At the end of year, President Susan Herbst will select one of the candidates to start as provost in the summer of 2018.
According the UConn provost webpage, the “provost oversees academic and institutional strategic planning, and plays a major role in the budgeting and allocation of University resources.” In other words, the provost oversees the running of the university and reports that directly to the president. In a time where UConn is facing budget cuts from the state, we need a leader who can help us through these hard times.
Students will also have the opportunity to play a major part in the selection of the new provost. Through the forums, students will have the ability to ask the provost candidates questions related to issues that they feel are important. Over the past year, we have seen the country ripped apart because of different ideologies. This campus has had its set of protests dealing with political issues and the basic human rights of students. One of the provost’s jobs is to ensure all students have the opportunity to learn and grow in an environment that values them and promotes their values. Students should ask questions to gauge whether or not the candidates can actually do that.
UConn is currently on the verge of great change. A new, strong provost can help usher UConn into a better position for the future. Students need to understand the power they have in making this decision and should make it a priority to attend these forums and ask important questions.