Archive for Wednesday, June 19, 1996

Hemenway promises swift decision on provost slot

June 19, 1996

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Decisions about hiring a KU provost are now in the chancellor's hands.

The provost search committee Tuesday submitted to Kansas University's chancellor a report summarizing attributes of the five finalists.

Grade cards were completed by the committee after each finalist endured a series of interviews last week with faculty, staff and students.

"The narrative focuses ... on skills that a person brings to the job and those that a person does not bring to the job," said Wil Linkugel, search committee chair.

Chancellor Robert Hemenway will refer to the document before advancing the hunt for a No. 2 administrator for the Lawrence campus. Under the chancellor's new administrative structure, the provost will have a broad range of academic and budget responsibilities.

Hemenway said he expected to make a quick decision. The goal is to wrap up the search by July 1.

"I'll try to come to a decision next week or the week after," he said. "I might ask some back for additional interviews."

Finalists are: Richard Edwards, liberal arts dean at the University of Kentucky; Nancy Marlin, vice president and provost at the University of Northern Iowa; David Shulenburger, KU vice chancellor; Marlene Strathe, provost and vice president at the University of North Dakota; and Marilyn Yarbrough, associate provost at the University of North Carolina.

Linkugel declined to divulge contents of the committee's report, citing a desire not to put public pressure on the chancellor.

Many factors will influence Hemenway's decision on a provost. The applicant's performance in his or her current job plays a big role, but research, teaching, gender, race, campus politics and other issues also become factors.

Individuals who met the finalists indicated all had qualities desirable in a high-level university administrator.

"I could live with all of them," said Lloyd Sponholtz, head of KU's University Senate Executive Committee.

Linkugel said the interview process pushed one candidate to the forefront. He refused to name the person.

Some who attended meetings with finalists offered a strong endorsement of Shulenburger, the only internal candidate in the running. He's a known quantity to faculty. Colleagues understand his agenda and style.

That could be an asset and liability, a source said.

Hemenway has made it clear he wants the university to give ample consideration to women and minority applicants. Three of five finalists are women, and one -- Yarbrough -- is a black American who worked at KU from 1979 to 1987.

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