Winter break 2002 arrives to find Emory in a period of transition,
to say the least. President Bill Chace’s recent retirement
announcement adds to the list of administrative vacancies the University
will need to fill in the near future.
Following is an update of some of the higher profile searches ongoing
in central University administration:
Despite his initial announcement that he would step down from the
presidency at the end of the 2002–03 academic year, Chace
clarified in recent Faculty Council and University Senate meetings
that he plans to remain in office until his successor “is
actually sitting in [the president’s] chair, reading e-mail,”
though he said ideally this would happen by Labor Day 2003.
Board of Trustees Chair Ben Johnson is charged with defining the
search process for Emory’s next president, and said he could
announce the composition of a search committee as early as this
week. Johnson has been reviewing how peer institutions conduct presidential
searches and said the committee that will guide Emory’s process
will be representative of the University’s varied constituencies;
that it will be made up of people who understand the needs of the
University and can choose a candidate who meets those needs; and
that combines the “best of Emory’s aspirations”
in terms of academic excellence, diversity and service.
“Anyone who deals with this committee will be able to get
the idea that this a good picture of what the University is,”
said Johnson, who added that he anticipates holding a number of
meetings in which the Emory community can express its own thoughts
on the kind of
person that should be picked to lead it. Johnson also said it is
“very realistic” that a successor to Chace could be
in place by next summer.
Following the departure of former Provost Rebecca Chopp in 2001,
interim Provost Woody Hunter agreed to serve a two-year term in
the office; those two years will be up next June. As president,
Chace is responsible for launching a provost search, and he said
recently that he, the trustees and possibly the next president (if
one is named by this time) “will deliberate on any possible
succession in the Office of the Provost” when Hunter’s
initial two-year term is up.
College dean. Last month the search committee held
a series of open meetings with faculty, staff and students to survey
opinions on the kind of person needed to head the college. Some
commonalities did exist, but committee chair Elaine Walker said
each group of constituents brought its own perspective, with faculty
wanting someone who blends teaching and research, staff speaking
up for someone with management and leadership skills, and students
hoping for a dean who is visible and active with the student body.
“Many of the concerns and opinions had already been raised
in the search committee’s discussions,” Walker said.
“This is not surprising, given that the committee is a diverse
group. More than anything, the meetings helped us to more clearly
articulate and reorder the priorities for the search.”
vice president and chief operating officer. John
Temple announced early in the semester that he will retire at school
year’s end. Chace, who is chairing a search committee that
includes faculty, administrators and trustees, said the group “looks
forward to interviewing the first candidates, about half a dozen
of them, in very early January.”
• Vice provost
for International Affairs. Work on this search began
anew over the summer after Tom Arthur, who had been filling the
position in interim capacity since former Vice Provost Marion Creekmore
retired in 2000, accepted the deanship of the law school. Academic
Affairs Vice Provost Harriet King is chairing a search committee
that includes public health and nursing deans Jim Curran and Marla
Salmon, respectively, Creekmore (who temporarily is back in his
old job) and English Professor Ron Schuchard.
King said the committee has identified three finalists and hopes
to make its decision before classes begin in January. “We
have had wonderful candidates,” said King, who cited “high
energy, a willingness to fund-raise, the ability to garner support
from disparate sets of constituents and a knowledge of contacts
in the wider world” as the chief attributes on which the committee
focused in its efforts.