NMU provost candidates announced

Shaina James

NMU will be bringing four finalists to campus this week for interviews in search of a permanent provost and vice president for academic affairs.

The four candidates are David Dauwalder, Lance Grahn, Patrick Guilfoile and Barbara Keinath. All have either previously been a provost or vice provost at other universities.

A provost reports directly to the university president and is the top academic administrator. At NMU, the position involves management and leadership that will help the development of academic and student services programs.

“The provost has a major role in advancing many university initiatives, for example, those that are related to diversity, academic service learning, community engagement and developing benchmarks for academic performance,” said Cindy Paavola, director of marketing and communications and NMU provost search committee member.

Most final decisions related to any part of the curricula and to the academic programs will need to be approved by the provost first.

“We are real pleased with the four people we are bringing onto campus,” said Charles Ganzert, NMU provost search committee co-chair. “They all have a lot of experience with the kinds of issues Northern has confronted in recent times.

“They seem to be good people who will get things done.”

Finalists will meet with selected individuals or groups and will make a public presentation to the campus community, while being at NMU for their interview.

Feedback forms on who is the best fit to be the new provost will be available at the appearance and online.

“While the candidates are here at NMU, they are going through a rather rigorous interviewing process where they will meet many students, faculty and staff,” Paavola said.

Their public presentation will be on the topic of “In light of national trends and/or challenges with regard to higher education, what roles does the provost play in leveraging NMU’s opportunities and responding to our unique challenges?”

Anyone is allowed to attend the presentations, meet the candidates and ask questions. The presentations will be held from 4 to 5 p.m.

About 70 candidates from all over the country applied for the position. The selection committee met and reviewed the applications first to determine who met the requirements.

“The procedure we are going through is pretty common,” Ganzert said. “Typically, you have to do a national search to find a good fit for the campus. That takes quite some time.

“We tend not to appoint someone as permanent until the search is completed. We started in the fall and are ending on time.”

The committee members determined who were the top 12 to 18 candidates to be interviewed.

After the first round of interviews, it was narrowed down to six candidates.

The committee met to review the remaining six candidates and went over their applications, letters that said why they were interested in NMU and what they could bring to the university.

“Ideally, the person would begin serving in the position by or before the start of the new fiscal year, which is July 1,” Paavola said.