The search for the University’s next top provost begins

With senior vice chancellor of Academic Affairs John Antel returning to a faculty position and Paula Short still acting as interim provost, the University took a step toward appointing a new UH System provost and senior vice chancellor.

President and Chancellor Renu Khator announced in an email Wednesday that professor and Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen distinguished university chair John Lee and vice chancellor and vice president for Student Affairs Richard Walker will co-chair the Provost Search Committee. They will be assisted by R. William Funk & Associates, an executive search firm dedicated to higher education consulting.

Lee is a petroleum engineering academic and National Academy of Engineering member. Walker has more than 30 years of higher education experience. Both accepted their positions at UH in 2011.

“The University of Houston is looking for a transformational leader with a proven capacity to create an environment and culture focused on student success at a Tier One institution,” Walker said in a statement.

Within the next few weeks, the committee will be meeting to define the qualities and experience it believes would make an ideal candidate for the position. The co-chairs will be assisted by 13 committee members.

Responding for interim provost Paula Short, Karen Clarke, associate vice chancellor of Marketing & Communication for the UH System, said the search will be an open process.

The committee is responsible for developing a strong and diverse pool of candidates, screening eligible applicants, inviting finalists for campus interviews and assessing each interviewee.

“My expectation is to have the search committee conclude its work in May,” Khator said.

Khator has asked the committee to seek input from deans, chairs, faculty and staff, professional programs, alumni, administration, the UH System and students.

“I request that you please help the committee in creating a strong and diverse pool of candidates by nominating qualified individuals,” Khator said. “I have asked the chairs to keep you informed about the process and respectfully request that you meet the candidates when invited for interviews.”

It is expected that the ideal candidate will have a demonstrated record of sustained academic leadership and accomplishment commensurate with appointment to the rank of full professor with tenure at a major research university.

“And we will be actively seeking input from faculty around campus to help us identify exemplary candidates to become the next UH provost and senior vice chancellor for the UH System, ” Walker said.

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