Search for new provost will differ from past tradition  

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New UConn President Thomas Katsouleas speaks to the Board of Trustees in the Wilbur Cross Reading Room on Feb. 5, 2019.  Photo by Judah Shingleton / The Daily Campus

New UConn President Thomas Katsouleas speaks to the Board of Trustees in the Wilbur Cross Reading Room on Feb. 5, 2019. Photo by Judah Shingleton / The Daily Campus

The University of Connecticut launched the search for the next Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs last week, according to an email from President Thomas Katsouleas.  

A search committee, put together by Katsouleas, will review applicants by the end of this calendar year and interviews will take place in early 2020.  

“I expect to name a finalist in the spring to begin at UConn next summer,” Katsouleas said.  

Katsouleas described the search as “highly consultative,” but will not include open forums with finalists.  

“I realize this is a departure from the tradition of the past here at UConn so I wanted to share with you a bit about my thought process,” Katsouleas said.  

Stephany Santos, a PhD candidate on the search committee, said Katsouleas is open minded and wants to make the search as fair and equitable as possible. 

“President Katsouleas is looking to bring more research to UConn, increase the talents and broaden the backgrounds of faculty we recruit to UConn,” Santos said. “And make sure students have phenomenal quality of experiences while here.”  

The search chair and Katsouleas will be providing updates to the University Senate Executive Committee on the search.  

“I will also be asking the finalists to meet confidentially with a number of representative groups including the Senate Executive Committee, student leaders, union leadership, the deans, regional campus directors and other members of the administration,” Katsouleas said.  

Katsouleas said feedback from these meetings will weigh in on his final decision.  

The search committee includes 20 people and is chaired by Sandra Chafouleas, according to Katsouleas.  

“I worked to assemble a thoughtful, knowledgeable and broadly representative search committee of faculty, staff and students of different backgrounds, schools and disciplines,” Katsouleas said.  

Sandra Chafouleas, a Neag School of Education professor and chairperson of the search committee, is celebrating 20 years at UConn this year and looks forward to continuing to invest in the University. 

“The new Provost will play a crucial role in developing, implementing and evaluating a new academic plan,” Chafouleas said. “Thus, it is important that the committee find a strong academic leader who brings capacity to take multiple perspectives on important issues when selecting paths forward.”  

Katsouleas asked the university deans to nominate three members from their school or college, and he selected one from each.  

“I want to thank every member of the search committee for agreeing to undertake this important task for the university, and especially Sandy for agreeing to chair it,” Katsouleas said.  

Santos started her time at UConn as an undergraduate student 11 years ago and is thankful for the support the university has offered her. 

“Over the past decade, I have seen UConn grow in many ways, and have the unique perspective of having had the UConn undergraduate experience, currently in my graduate experience and the privilege of continuing to work with undergraduates to understand their evolving needs and challenges,” Santos said. 

Santos said she looks forward to representing all students at UConn. 

“As someone who cares about equitable and educational experiences, I listen and lift the perspectives of the LGBTQIA+ community, first generation students and other marginalized students,” Santos said. “I am looking forward to working with the committee to come together and find candidates that best represent the needs of not every student that calls themselves a husky today, but the future kids out there aspoting to join the family in the future.”  

Craig H. Kennedy announced his decision to step down from the provost position in January 2019 to return to a faculty position, and was replaced in July by interim provost John Elliot from the UConn School of Business.  

Chafouleas said the UConn community can learn more about the Provost search when a website with information is available in the next couple of weeks.  

“Anyone is encouraged to share their ideas by emailing uconnprovost@heidrick.com,” Chafouleas said. “All feedback is welcome and will be reviewed by the search committee.”  

Katsouleas said members of the UConn community can share their thoughts about the provost search with him by emailing him directly at president@uconn.edu with “provost search” in the subject line.  


Ashley Anglisano is the associate news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at ashley.anglisano@uconn.edu.

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