Provost Jay Harper announced he was stepping down last Friday, March 2 after three years at the University of Mary Washington.
Harper came to the University in July 2009 and was the first to fill the position of Provost permanently.
As an administrator, Harper is responsible specifically for the academic programs and operations at UMW, according to Meagan Holbrook, Academic and Faculty Affairs chair on SGA and Junior Geography major.
“He oversees faculty and deans report to him,” said Holbrook.
Harper’s departure is effective beginning June 24, 2012.
“Harper’s departure will have an impact because of the knowledge he takes with him of all the issues he has been working on,” said President Rick Hurley.
Although his leaving will inevitably have an impact on the University community, the impact of his leaving will most directly affect faculty and deans’, according to Holbrook.
“For students, everything will continue normally,” said Holbrook.
However, Hurley is confident that Harper’s staff is fully capable of guaranteeing that UMW will continue to move forward in Harper’s absence.
Hurley stated that it is in the best interests of the university to find a new Provost quickly and that he desires to transfer the provost’s leadership responsibility as soon possible.
John Morello, associate provost, will be acting provost until the University can find an interim replacement, according to Hurley.
The formal transition of the duties of the provost will begin April 2, 2012, according to Hurley
According to Hurley, there will be two phases in the transition between provosts.
“We have a two phase approach with phase one being the appointment of an interim provost from now until June, 2013 and phase two the appointment of a permanent provost by July 1, 2013,” said Hurley.
According to Hurley, he is looking to create an interim provost position for the 2012-2013 and will use the services of a nationally recognized interim placement firm to find a skilled administrator for the position.
“I want an experienced provost with a strong record in academic administration on a college of our size,” said Hurley.
Beginning in the fall 2012 semester, Hurley will appoint a committee consisting of members of faculty, who will search for a highly qualified individual to take the provost position, according to Hurley.
“In the following year, Faculty and students will be involved in the search and hiring process to find a new provost that is a good fit for the Mary Washington community,” said Holbrook.
Jeremy Thompson, the new SGA president and junior and History and Political Science major, would like the students to take part in searching for the new provost.
“We are going to make sure that students’ voices are heard,” said Thompson.
The candidates for the position will be visiting the University in April during which faculty and staff can meet the candidates if they are interested, according to Hurley.
“Dr. Harper will be greatly missed and he has contributed greatly to the University,” said Holbrook.