February 2, 2004

Provost finalists will appear on campus soon

By Michael Terrazas

Emory's search for a provost and executive vice president for academic affairs has been narrowed to four finalists, according to Kent Alexander, senior vice president and general counsel and chair of the Provost Search Advisory Committee. Three of the four candidates are confirmed and will make two-day visits to campus later this month and in February for meetings with faculty, administrators, students, trustees and staff, and to hold open community forums.

The three confirmed candidates are Elizabeth Langland, dean of the Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of California at Davis; Robert Thompson, dean of the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences at Duke University; and Daniel Weiss, the James B. Knapp Dean of the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University.

The fourth candidate is considering making a campus visit, Alexander said, and will not be named if he or she decides not to visit Emory. It is expected that President Jim Wagner will select the University's new provost from among these finalists.

"The committee interviewed an impressively strong group of candidates and narrowed that group to four distinguished finalists," Alexander said. "Emory will be very well served by whomever President Wagner ultimately selects."

Langland, who has led the arts and sciences at UC-Davis since 1999, earned her bachelor's degree summa cum laude in English from Barnard College and her master's and doctoral degrees in English literature from the University of Chicago. A wide-ranging scholar, she has published eight books focused on the intersections of gender, class, race, ethnicities and nationalities in Victorian literature. Before moving to Davis, Langland taught English literature at Vanderbilt University, Converse College and the University of Florida, where she was associate dean for faculty affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Thompson holds joint appointments in the departments of psychology, psychiatry and pediatrics at Duke University, where he has been dean of Trinity College since 1999. Author of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, Thompson taught at Georgetown University before going to Duke as an associate professor in 1975. After earning his B.A. at LaSalle College, he earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in clinical psychology at the University of North Dakota and completed an internship in clinical psychology at Indiana University Medical Center.

Weiss joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins as an assistant professor of art history in 1993, becoming dean of the faculty in 2001 and dean of arts and sciences in 2002. After completing his bachelor's degree at George Washington University, he worked at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts while completing his M.A. at Johns Hopkins. He then earned an MBA degree at Yale before starting a 14-year career in strategic and organizational consulting with Booz, Allen & Hamilton. He earned his Ph.D. degree in art history at Johns Hopkins.

"Personally I was absolutely delighted with the quality of the applicants," said Victoria Finnerty, professor of biology and a member of the search advisory committee. "The finalists are spectacular, and they bring a focuson academic excellence as well as a focus on the financial aspects of running a university such as Emory."

At presstime, the dates and locations of the candidates' open forums had not yet been released. Wagner said he welcomes feedback from the community directly to him via e-mail (wagner@emory.edu), and he extended his thanks to the search advisory committee for its work.