Rocket Nation Recovery Part 38a – one of the questions raised in yesterday’s post has been answered.

Question 5 – Provost Search – is it true that the UT employee leading the Provost search lives in South Carolina? If true, does this mean there are no candidates with ties to UT or Toledo are being considered?

Some clarity is needed.

The Provost Search Committee is being led by a UT Dean that lives in Toledo. The person support the search lives in South Carolina and is a full-time UT employee. They came from the University of Louisville, left to join a search firm, then returned to UT. They visit Toledo occasionally. 

If you were a trustee, does it make sense for a full-time State of Ohio employee to live in South Carolina? How does that work with OPERS?

If you were a Trustee, what actions would you take to support the Provost search knowing that since the 2006 merger (17-years) UToledo has had 9 Provosts – – 6 have been Interim – – with 3 consecutive Interim Provost’s since 2019 (4-years)?

1. Rod Sheehan (interim) 2003-2007

2. Rosemary Haggett 2007-2010

3. William McMillen (interim) 2010-2012

4. Scott Scarborough 2012-2014

5. John Barrett (interim) 2014-2016 

6. Andrew Hsu 2016-2019

7. Karen Bjorkman (interim) 2019-2022

8. Riza Dickson (interim) 2022-2023

9. Scott Molitor (interim) 2023-present

As a trustee, would you want to know:

1. What is causing such high turnover? Should recruiting practices be changed? Should the job description and responsibilities be changed? Should a non-academic approach to hiring be used?

2. What has caused the need for the last 3 Provosts to be Interim? After 4-years, does UToledo leadership have the ability to hire a Provost that will bring vision, stability and a morale boost? As a trustee, would you push to have the Board of Trustees make the hiring decision?

3. What impact has this revolving door had on the enrollment, financial and morale crisis? 

4. What role is this playing in the exodus of great faculty members? 

5. How is this is impacting students decisions to not attend UT?

Can UToledo afford/survive a 10th interim or 2-year Provost? To shorten the learning curve and increase the probability of the Provost staying, would you require the next Provost to have deep experience with UT and/or the Toledo community?

If you were a trustee would you ask the entire Rocket Nation to engage in the search for the next Provost? Is it true that there are hundreds of UT alums and former Toledoans leading academic institutions around the United States? Is it time to bring one of them home? Job Posting https://www.utoledo.edu/career/executive-search/docs/provost-evp-academic-affairs.pdf

It’s ok to feel uncomfortable in a crisis. Please pray for thoughtful, compassionate accountability and urgent actions to revitalize The Rocket Nation.

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