Chancellor extends search for permanent provost

UAA Chancellor Cathy Sandeen announced her decision to conduct the search for a permanent Provost of Academic Affairs in the fiscal year of 2020, which begins next year. John Stalvey will continue to serve as interim provost until a permanent candidate has been found.

Interim Vice Provost for Academic Affairs John Stalvey agreed to serving in his current position for up to two years. Photo credit: Josua Borough

Sandeen thinks that the additional time will be beneficial for the search; this will allow UAA to maximize the search for suitable candidates in the standard academic search cycle for those positions, she said.

“I just really want to make sure that we get the right candidate for this position,” Sandeen said at the most recent Faculty Senate meeting in October.

The permanent position has been vacant since August 2017 when Sam Gingerich began serving as interim chancellor of the university.

“I know many would like to see permanent appointments sooner. However, I firmly believe conducting an inclusive process and attracting a diverse and qualified candidate pool . . . justify the extra time,” Sandeen said in a statement to the UAA community.

In the academic year of 2017 to 2018, Duane Hrncir served as interim provost. At the end of his term in June, Stalvey started his new position.

Stalvey served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences prior to his appointment as interim provost. He agreed to serve as interim provost in order to “help achieve our UAA 2020 goals,” Stalvey said in an email. He is not planning on applying for the permanent position.

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“I have several reasons for not seeking the job permanently, not the least of which is that I really enjoy being the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences,” Stalvey said in the email.

Stalvey also cited his nearing retirement as a reason.

“My wife and I are nearing a time when we want to retire and enjoy our grandchildren who live in the lower 48. The Provost is not an easy job and UAA needs someone in the permanent position who can commit to a longer term than I can at this point in my career,” Stalvey said.

The current plan of the chancellor anticipates Stalvey’s return to his former position for the fiscal year of 2021. John Petraitis, associate dean of CAS, filled in for Stalvey as interim dean of the college.

Stalvey said he trusts the chancellor’s judgment due to her “extensive experience in higher education.”

“My own experience also leads me to understand that allowing the chancellor time to get to know the university so that she can choose the best next provost is a good idea,” Stalvey said. “The relationship between the chancellor and the provost is critical, to taking the time to make sure UAA gets it right is important.”

Sandeen said she would keep the university community updated on new developments occurring in the process.

“I am committed to sharing pertinent information with you as it happens and also welcome your questions,” Sandeen said.