What is a Provost?
By definition: pro·vost/ˈprōˌvōst/
- A senior administrative officer in certain colleges and universities.
- The head of certain university colleges and public schools.
The Provost is the academic leader of an educational institution. The Provost is responsible for overseeing the overall academic integrity of the entire institution.Therefore, nothing is more important than the integrity of the Provost!
Does the Provost need to be an academic himself (or herself)?
The University of Iowa has a great post titled, “What Exactly IS a Provost?” Noting that
If you don’t know, don’t feel bad. You’re not alone! So few people actually know what a provost is, the humorist Dave Barry once used it as an example of how to befuddle the IRS.
“Ask the Administrator: The Non-Academic President” was an interesting article in Inside Higher Ed recently questioning whether a Community College President without an academic background would be a good fit for a college.
The major issue will be with the faculty on academic issues. It’s one thing to be broadly supportive of education; it’s quite another to understand academic culture and the needs and fears of faculty. Many faculty will fear – with some warrant – that a president whose major focus is financial or political will neglect academic matters, or sell them out to the highest bidder with the best of intentions. (That’s remarkably easy to do.)
Provosts often hold academic teaching positions as well. If that is the case, then their academic credentials need to be vetted (they should anyway) in the same manner as faculty.
The academic and scholastic credentials of the administrator or administrator-candidate shall be prepared in the same form required of all academic faculty being considered for an academic appointment.
At the time the administrator or the administrator-candidate is being considered for academic rank, his/her academic and scholastic credentials shall be submitted to the school or department of association. The credentials shall be reviewed first by the established promotion and tenure peer review committee. The currently required procedures for review of academic faculty being considered for an academic appointment shall be followed at all levels of review.
When an administrator who currently holds academic rank is to be considered for promotion to a higher academic rank, his/her academic and scholastic credentials shall be prepared in the same form required of all academic faculty. These credentials shall be submitted to the established school or department promotion and tenure peer review faculty committee. The currently required procedures for review of academic faculty being considered for academic promotion shall be followed at all levels of review.
When an administrator who currently holds academic rank, non-tenure track, leaves his/her administrative position and requests a tenure track appointment in an instructional unit, his/her academic and scholastic credentials shall be submitted to the school or department, which shall follow the currently required procedures for appointment.
What are the academic credentials of your Provost? Do you know?