Skip to main content Skip to main content

University community weighs in on provost search

Faculty and staff gathered at town-hall meetings to reflect on ideal qualities for the next chief academic officer.

By Lindsey Coulter

October 2, 2019

Attendees at Provost search town hall event.Metropolitan State University of Denver’s search for a new provost kicked off last week with a listening tour. Faculty members and administrators gathered at two town halls to discuss the role and the qualities and experience our next chief academic officer should bring to the table.

In reflecting on the provost’s responsibilities, many attendees noted the personal and professional qualities that Provost Vicki Golich, Ph.D., has brought to the role. She was praised for her efforts to formalize the review, tenure and promotion processes, develop online learning opportunities, and tackle structural changes such as academic-department realignment. Golich, who also was applauded for her collegiality and faculty advocacy, is helping to develop the job description and will likely assist through the transition.

In discussing ideal candidate qualities, attendees were unanimous in their desire for a traditional academic with experience in faculty and faculty-leadership roles. It was also important to many that final candidates be versed in the opportunities and challenges presented by being a modified open-enrollment university. Additionally, both groups noted the benefits of a broad skill set, a well-developed and effective management style and the ability to build relationships and rapport.

Hard skills

Attendees expressed a desire for candidates with demonstrated success in:

  • Interpreting education and enrollment data and identifying University-specific best practices
  • Managing grants and different funding streams
  • Navigating the development and structuring of curriculum
  • Managing organizational transitions such as new strategic plans, branding efforts, departmental realignments, etc.
  • Completing or participating in institutional accreditation processes
  • Understanding and responding to the evolving state/federal education landscape

Management style

Leadership, communication and effective management were also key. Specifically, many respondents sought a leader who:

  • Solicits, considers and integrates multiple opinions and perspectives in their decision-making
  • Is able to effectively manage conflict and crucial conversations
  • Recognizes opportunities for transparency and inclusivity and deliberately invites diverse voices to the table with clear and defined roles
  • Builds a culture of collaboration and communication across reporting lines
  • Sets clear priorities, goals and expectations
  • Is committed to professional development across the faculty spectrum
  • Values shared governance
  • Empowers people to do what they do well and finds resources for them to succeed
  • Is responsive to and advocates for faculty needs

Personal qualities and philosophy

In addition to professional experience, attendees stressed the need for candidates who will contribute to a positive campus culture, specifically that they work well with internal colleagues and external partners. It was also important that final candidates be champions for MSU Denver in the present and committed to building its future, remaining steadfast to the mission of being a comprehensive university that teaches students employable skills and how to learn.

Next, the University will work with consultant Alberto Pimentel of Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates. Through six previous searches with MSU Denver, Pimentel has gained a deep understanding of the University’s values, and he met separately Thursday with a number of smaller constituency groups across campus, including deans, chairs and vice presidents, to better inform the search. Please stay tuned for more information.

Search Committee Members

  • Matt Makley, Ph.D., professor, History – Search Committee Chair
  • Rosemarie Allen, Ph.D., professor, Education
  • Andrea Borrego Ph.D., assistant professor, Criminal Justice
  • Katia Campbell, Ph.D., associate professor, Speech Communication
  • Su-Jane Chen, Ph.D., professor, Finance
  • Greg Clifton, Ph.D., professor, Accounting
  • Adam Graves, Ph.D., professor, Philosophy
  • Tanya Greathouse, Ph.D., assistant professor, Social Work
  • Brian Gunther, Technical Process and Communications Manager
  • E.J. Kang, Ph.D., assistant professor, Hospitality, Tourism and Events
  • Adrienne Martinez, executive director, Classroom to Career Initiatives
  • George Middlemist, Ph.D., associate vice president, Administration
  • Adriana Nieto, Ph.D., associate professor and chair, Chicana/o Studies
  • Shelia Rucki, Ph.D., professor, Political Science
  • Arlene Sgoutas, Ph.D., interim dean, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
  • Kim Starr, Strategic Planning and Financial Analyst Manager

Topics: Events, Hiring

Edit this page