Provost searches to fill new staff position

Posted on April 01, 2013 in News
By Jeremy Holden

USM will be due for a new associate provost position in the coming academic year, although the position isn’t really that “new” at all, considering that it is a consolidation two pre-existing senior administrative seats into one.

The incoming administrator will act as dean of the graduate studies program and associate vice president of the Research, Scholarship and Creativity Department. The current interim Associate Provost Dahlia Lynn will return to her position as a professor of environmental science next semester, and the future administrator will fill her empty position over the graduate program. The university entered into a nationwide search to fill the position and has received applications from academics around the country. The university hopes to fill the position by the end of the current semester.

“Robust graduate programs relevant to the needs of our student population are critical,” said Provost Michael Stevenson in a statement to The Free Press. “The same is true of the research conducted by our faculty that allows them to stay current in their fields and enrich the learning experiences of our students. These two areas demand the close attention of a senior-level director who can advance and promote them.”

Stevenson’s hectic schedule made it necessary that he work through the spring vacation to help keep the university up and running. He is the chief academic officer for USM and works in collaboration with the president, deans, faculty and others to provide leadership and support within all academic units. An associate provost would oversee the university’s graduate program and the Research, Scholarship and Activity Department that helps fund academic projects around USM. This combination of departments may help to eliminate costs for the university’s administration, given the recent budget cuts.

The salary of the future associate provost will be roughly $135,000. Provost Stevenson’s current salary is $174,999.96. His earnings, as well as the proposed earnings for the associate provost, will remain untouched by the proposed budget cuts for the university.

“The salaries are covered in the budget,” said Stevenson. “Since the administration is not creating a new position from scratch, we are able to support salaries with existing funds.”

However, the size of the salary for the new associate provost may depend on the qualifications and experience of the applicants and by comparison to earnings of those from other academic institutions in the similar positions. Stevenson explained that the university has consolidated existing responsibilities from various departments to use the associate provost’s resources and position as efficiently as possible.