Search continues for new provost with faculty, staff forums


GVL Archives

Payton Brazzil, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University President Philomena V. Mantellla has commenced a nationwide search for the new Provost and Executive Vice President. After the previous provost, Maria Cimitile, fulfilled her three-year term of service, GVSU is on the lookout for the next

As chief academic officer, the Provost would ensure that GVSU’s vision of academic distinction, policies, student affairs, along with many other responsibilities, is properly executed. 

Currently, Chris Plouff is Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for the Academic and Student Affairs Division. 

According to the GVSU website, Plouff continues a tradition of collaborative leadership, shared governance, excellence in teaching, innovative scholarship, strategic planning, high-impact learning experiences, and purposeful academic service to the community.

GVSU’s search to find a new provost is taken very seriously. The search committee is being co-chaired by two faculty members, Dr. Felix Ngassa, Chair of the University Academic Senate and Professor of Chemistry and Dr. Paul Stansbie, Associate Dean of the College of Education and Community Innovation and Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management. 

Stansbie said that the committee partnered with a search firm called Storbeck Search. Along with an outside organization, the committee consists of many people from the GVSU community. 

“We have our own search committee that reflects our many voices and administrations like deans, faculty, staff, administrative support staff, and people from financial aid,” Stansbie said. “The goal being we can look at this position from multiple lenses, look at future candidates and ultimately try and find someone that’s going to be a great fit for this really quite an important chapter in the next stage of Grand Valley’s history” 

The process of finding the nest provost involves Storbeck Search, the committee and the GVSU community. Storbeck Search helps find candidates for the position, but criteria come from within the university. 

The search committee uses a shared governance model. Not only does the committee have a say, but the entire community, such as faculty, staff or students. In order to understand what GVSU is looking for, there were two open forums this past week, along with a feedback survey. 

Around 180 faculty and staff members attended the two forums. After the forums and surveys are filled out, the committee will collect all the feedback and see what is most important to the community. 

With the help of Storbeck Search, the committee will take the feedback and pull together an ideal provost application. The provost application is specific to the culture of GVSU and the characteristics that the community is looking for. 

Stansbie said that there were common themes and characteristics that came up in the open forum.

“We are looking for someone who is a really good listener, someone that was a faculty member and someone that worked in an administrative leadership position,” Stansbie said. “Someone who understands the changing landscape of higher education and the values of shared governance and embraces the liberal arts philosophy and involves all voices in the decision-making process.”. 

Once all the feedback is collected, the application would go in Storbeck Search, a nationwide search program. The application and interview process will most likely end around February. GVSU is hoping to have a new provost by the next academic year. 

The search committee is confident they will find a provost that fits the culture and ideals of GVSU.