When it comes to universities, job searches aren't just about the job.
"It's also the unique, attractive nature of the institutions," Karen Gould said during a Thursday visit to Kansas University.
Gould, professor of French and Francophone studies and dean of the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Cincinnati, is the fourth and final candidate for KU's provost and executive vice chancellor position.
After 10 years as dean at two universities, Gould said she is interested in working at the institutional level.
She described her leadership style as collaborative and decisive. She does not shy from making tough decisions, she said, but she wants to gather many perspectives beforehand.
"I'm dedicated to strong channels of communication," she said.
Gould is interviewing for the seat that will be vacated later this year by David Shulenburger, who is going to Washington, D.C., to work at the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.
Gould received a bachelor's degree from Occidental College in Los Angeles, a diploma from the French university La Sorbonne and a doctorate at the University of Oregon.
Before joining Cincinnati in 2001, she was dean of the College of Arts and Letters at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.
Jeff Aube, head of the search committee, said the group is collecting feedback and will meet soon to discuss each candidate.
The committee won't rank the candidates. Its recommendations will be forwarded to Chancellor Robert Hemenway, who makes the final decision.
The announcement of a new provost will round out a busy year for KU, which has worked to fill three dean positions and the provost's seat. The dean searches - for the schools of law, social welfare and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - have been completed.