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The University of Vermont

Office of the President

August 24, 2010

From:     Daniel Mark Fogel

To:         University of Vermont Campus Community                       

Re:         Provost Search Fall 2010

In these challenging economic times, we must continue to build academic quality together in order to ensure the long-term success of the University. No single position is more important for such an undertaking than that of the Provost and Senior Vice President, UVM’s chief academic and chief operating officer. Professor of Economics Jane Knodell has served as Interim in that critical role for nearly fourteen months. It is now time for us to identify a regular appointee.

After extensive consultation, I have determined that a Provost and Senior Vice President will be selected through an internal search. My conversations since the end of the spring semester with the Board of Trustees and with the leadership of campus governance groups have yielded a consensus that an internal search is preferable to a national search for several reasons.

Perhaps the most compelling reason relates to the key academic initiatives that are well under way, including the transdisciplinary initiatives, general education, the first-year experience, the continuing development of our residential learning communities, the strengthening of academic program review, and new programs to increase UVM’s proportion of international students. Placing these efforts in abeyance for the year or more required for a national search would likely stall our progress as an institution: we cannot afford to place at risk the continuing enhancement of academic quality at UVM and our very sustainability.

Additionally, internal candidates can be expected to have already developed a thorough understanding of our culture, our fiscal realities and imperatives, our governance and decision-making processes, and our deans and faculty. An external appointee is likely to spend minimally a year engaged in an orientation process, with uncertain results. Again, I strongly believe it is vital that we maintain and advance our position in the highly volatile and competitive higher education landscape.

Accordingly, I am initiating the process prescribed in the University Manual, sections 202.2.2 and 202.3.3, including asking the Colleges and Schools to launch the process by which the faculty selects a panel that in turn elects four of its members to serve on the search committee. In keeping with the guidelines set forth in the University Manual, I will appoint additional faculty members to the committee as well as staff members and students. I have asked Staff Council, the Student Government Association, and the Graduate Student Senate to submit to me any suggestions those bodies may have for appointments to the committee (by rule, two members will be appointed from the SGA list of nominees). In addition, any member of the faculty, the staff, or the student body may self-nominate for service on the search committee. If you are interested, please send your name to Dr. Gary Derr, Chief of Staff ([log in to unmask]), by September 14, 2010.

It is important that the process move ahead with dispatch and that it be completed no later than the end of this fall semester. I am confident we will find an outstanding individual to take up this exciting opportunity for leadership at UVM.

cc:        Board of Trustees
            Alumni Association Leadership

Daniel Mark Fogel, President 
University of Vermont 
85 So. Prospect St. 
Burlington, Vermont 05405 
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