Archive for Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Final candidate for KU provost is a former provost at Texas A&M University

March 2, 2010


The final candidate for Kansas University’s provost position is a former provost at Texas A&M; University.

Jeffrey S. Vitter is currently a professor of computer science and engineering at Texas A&M; in College Station. He has also been the dean of the College of Sciences at Purdue University.

He will make a short presentation to the university community and the public at 4 p.m. Thursday at the Bruckmiller and McGee rooms in the Adams Alumni Center. A question-and-answer session and reception will follow.

The program will be streamed live online at

Vitter joins Philip McConnaughay, law dean at Pennsylvania State University, and Steve Warren, KU’s vice provost for research and graduate studies, as the three finalists for the position.


yourworstnightmare 8 years, 3 months ago

Kudos to the search committee for finding two quality outside candidates and probably the most qualified internal candidate.

KU_cynic 8 years, 3 months ago

I presume this will be forthcoming, but I'll ask anyway: What's up with Vitter?

Vitter left Purdue where he was dean to become provost at Texas A&M -- for one year 2008-2009. Coincidental with the appointment of the then-interim-president to president of A&M Vitter apparently stepped down, replaced by an interim provost with a similar academic background in computer science.

The president that left A&M was Elsa Murano. A Google search on her resignation suggests that she was the problem, and that Vitter resigned to distance himself from her and await a second chance like the one KU offers.

What really happened at A&M? It sounds like fodder for an academic farce.

beawolf 8 years, 3 months ago

"What really happened at A&M? "... Does it really matter? I'm sure the search committee has properly vetted this non-issue before he was selected as a finalist.

KU_cynic 8 years, 3 months ago


If I can form the question immediately and then find some vague information on the web with a couple minutes of browsing, it is a question that deserves an answer.

The last search committee we trusted to properly vet a provost candidate gave us Richard LaRiviere. Need I say more?

beawolf 8 years, 3 months ago

The key to your statement is "vague information". Like I said, his past has been vetted. Not sure why you have a bee up your bonnet about Lariviere. He came, he went. He had a decent record and apparently Oregon was impressed enough to lure him there as president.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 3 months ago

It is a good question why Vitter was provost for but one year. The exit of a president can be the cause of such things, and he is now biding his time.

Lariviere was a good provost. He rubbed many at KU the wrong way, mainly the deadwood do-no-research professors who dominate university governance.

KU_cynic 8 years, 3 months ago

One: I have no beef against Vitter and am intrigued by his background and potential. I merely have voyeuristic curiosity with regard to what happened at A&M with Murano. Sounds like a nasty mix of incompetence, ego, and politics.

Two: Perhaps the mistakes that LaRiviere made at KU resulted in the rubbing off of some sharp edges that will help him be a better leader at Oregon. Personally, I wouldn't bet on it.

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