Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

Candidates for new provost announced

Posted on May 02, 2016 in News
By Zachary Searles

USM Website
USM Website
USM Website

Candidates for the provost position have been announced after the search committee, chaired by Tom Parchman, interviewed all interested candidates, narrowing the search down to three. Each candidate will have two days on campus, starting during finals week, where students and faculty will be able to ask questions of them.

The three candidates in the running for the position are Dr. Jon Harbor, Dr. George Anthony Peffer and Dr. Jeannine Uzzi, who is currently serving as interim provost.

The first candidate to be visiting campus is Dr. Jon Harbor who will be visiting on May 9 and 10. Dr. Harbor currently serves as the director of digital education and associate vice provost for teaching and learning at Purdue University.

“I am particularly excited by the emphasis that President Cummings and the community at Maine’s Metropolitan University has placed on providing a high quality, accessible and affordable education, and its specific focus on advancing learning through meaningful engagement and opportunities with communities,” Harbor said in the opening to his cover letter.

Harbor received his PhD in Geological Sciences from the University of Washington and has published several articles in peer reviewed journals. While at Purdue he was included in their “Book of Great Teachers” for his success as both a professor and a researcher.

The second candidate to visit campus is Dr. Jeannine Uzzi, who will be open to questions on May 10 and 11. She has been serving as interim provost since late September and was a USM faculty member who was brought out of retrenchment by President Cummings to serve as interim provost.

“When President Cummings asked me to step into the provost’s office last year, I was excited, but I understood that the university faced significant challenges. On day one I took on the full responsibility of the office, focusing on the hard work USM needed,” Uzzi said in her cover letter. “If retained, I will continue to put every ounce of my energy, enthusiasm and goodwill into what is best for USM.”

Uzzi also stated in her cover letter that President Cummings told her that she could help heal the university. Since she accept the interim position, Uzzi has held many open meetings, spoken at a wide range of meetings and events and has met with many students and staff, addressing any concerns they might have.

“When I was retrenched, I accepted my fate, changed course and adapted to a new role in administration… Simply put, I love this institution and would be honored to continue as provost and VPAA,” Uzzi said in her closing paragraph of her letter.

The final candidate to visit campus is Dr. Tony Peffer, who will be visiting towards the end of finals week on May 11 and 12. Currently, Dr. Peffer serves as the chief academic officer of Castleton University.

Peffer is among the leaders of Castleton to implement and develop graduate programs to attempts to become “Vermont’s Comprehensive Master’s Institution.” He also serves as a representative of the university to build partnerships with high schools and universities in China.

According to Peffer, his main responsibility is supervising around 250 full-time and part-time staff and faculty.

Peffer claims that one of his highest priorities is expanding the access of higher education and having the privilege of helping first generation, minority and international students realize their dreams.

“Castleton has won my heart as a special family full of cherished friends. I can’t imagine leaving here for anyplace but a university that offers even more meaningful connections with faculty, staff and students. USM seems exactly such a place,” Peffer writes in his cover letter.

A decision on who will become the next provost is expected to be made by the end of May, with the winner starting the first of July.

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