The dean of the largest academic unit at Kansas University is a finalist to be provost at his alma mater.
Kim Wilcox, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is one of five finalists to be provost at Michigan State University. Wilcox is a native of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., and received his undergraduate degree from MSU in 1975.
"It's a great opportunity and one I have to look at seriously," Wilcox said. "It's awfully hard to even think about leaving this job, with as much as we've accomplished and can accomplish. But you have to consider these things when they come along."
Wilcox will be on the MSU campus in East Lansing April 27-29 for presentations and interviews. The provost position, the top academic position on campus, was vacated by Lou Anna Simon, who became MSU's president.
Other finalists for the position are Virginia Sapiro, associate vice chancellor for teaching and learning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Brian Foster, provost at the University of New Mexico; Uday Sukhatme, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the State University of New York at Buffalo; and Laura Schweitzer, associate vice president and interim dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Louisville, in Kentucky.
Wilcox has served as dean at KU since July of 2002. He had previously served as a faculty member in speech, language and hearing from 1984 to 1998, when he was named interim director of academic affairs for the Kansas Board of Regents. He was named executive director of the regents a year later.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences includes more than 50 departments and programs, 550 faculty members and 15,000 students.
Wilcox said MSU and KU were similar in several ways, including their emphasis on attracting life science research funding.
"I'd certainly like to be a provost of a major university, and Michigan State's a very good one," he said. "Their research budget is twice that of KU. Of course, being the alma mater and close to home helps, too."