UWG is in the process of searching for a new Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA). At UWG the duty of the Provost and VPAA is to report directly to the President on all academic plans, policies and priorities. They also serve as the dean of faculty.
Executive leadership at UWG created a search committee in May with 16 members of faculty and staff from various departments. Two students were chosen to be on the search committee as well. Due to COVID-19, the search committee has been working together virtually.
The search committee has been working with Myers McRae, which is a search firm that specializes in recruiting leaders for higher education. McRae has assisted the search committee in reviewing applications and determining qualified candidates.
“To my knowledge we have not used Myers McRae at UWG before,” said Search Committee Co-Chair, Laura Smith. “Executive leadership knew about the firm and its reputation, so we were allowed to utilize its services.”
The search committee accepted nominations and applications for the position that were submitted to Myers McRae by Sept. 2. They reviewed the applications and rated candidates on a scale of one to five. Fourteen candidates were chosen to interview virtually with the committee and the five top finalists were selected by the committee after the interviews.
The five finalists came to UWG to hold a campus-wide presentation, Q&A session with faculty and staff and open interviews with students. The presentations and discussions were held both in-person and virtually through Zoom. Each finalist toured both the Carrollton and Newnan campus. They also met some of the staff they would be working alongside with, if selected.
During the discussions, the candidates showcased their experience and future plans for UWG. Faculty and staff asked candidates how they would work with specific departments within the university. Students were also able to ask the candidates in a separate interview about their qualifications and how they would serve students as Provost and VPAA.
“We have had fabulous participation and have averaged over 100 participants for each candidate’s sessions,” said Smith. “Offering the virtual option was definitely effective and we will do it again in future searches.”
Following the presentations and discussions, the search committee received feedback from faculty, staff and students through an email survey. The search committee will review the survey feedback and make candidate recommendations to the president on Oct. 30. Ultimately, the president will make the final decision for who will serve as the next Provost and VPAA.
“We were given a diverse pool of highly qualified candidates for our faculty, staff and students to consider,” said Smith. “As a committee, we will determine who we feel are the most highly qualified candidates to recommend based on the feedback we receive.”
According to the provost search website, “The University of West Georgia seeks a transformative, visionary, and strategic leader to serve as provost and vice president for academic affairs.”