KU on track to begin permanent provost search after spring semester, chancellor says

photo by: Chris Conde

Strong Hall on the University of Kansas campus is shown on Sept. 13, 2018.

The University of Kansas hopes to begin searching for candidates for its permanent provost position after the spring semester comes to a close, KU Chancellor Douglas Girod said Wednesday.

Prior to the Kansas Board of Regents meeting in Topeka, Girod laid out for the Journal-World the probable timeline for the search for a permanent provost. Currently, the university is soliciting bids from search firms to help a university committee find prospective candidates for the position.

“We hope to have all of that firmed up by the end of the semester so we can spend this summer gathering candidates,” he said. “Then the very first thing in the fall, we’ll start the review process.”

Girod said the university hopes to appoint a permanent provost by the beginning of 2020, but it would depend on the candidate’s schedule.

“I anticipate we should, by mid-fall semester, have a selection,” he said. “Then it would be a matter of when they can get on campus.”

The search committee will look for a permanent replacement for Neeli Bendapudi, who left the provost position in 2018 to become the president of the University of Louisville. Since Bendapudi’s departure, Carl Lejuez, who is the dean for the university’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been serving as the interim provost. Girod said he has been happy with Lejuez’s performance.

“If he’s interested, he certainly can be a candidate (for the permanent position),” Girod said on Wednesday.

If Lejuez is selected for the position, the university will need to find a permanent CLAS dean as well.

Previously Lejuez offered the permanent position to Clarence Lang, who has been serving as interim dean, but he turned down the appointment in January. After Lang declined the appointment, Girod said the university would wait until a permanent provost is hired before making any more moves on the CLAS dean position.

In February, Lang accepted an offer to become the dean of the College of the Liberal Arts at Pennsylvania State University. He will start that job on July 1.

Contact Dylan Lysen

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