The University of Washington is seeking applications and nominations for the position of Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs (Provost).

About the position

The Provost is the chief academic officer of the University of Washington, and also plays a critical role as chief budgetary officer for academic units and functions. In collaboration with the President, the Board of Regents, the Deans, the faculty, students, and staff the Provost’s primary responsibility is to advance the University’s mission of preservation, advancement, and dissemination of knowledge. The Provost plays a key leadership role in fostering academic excellence and integrity, promoting diversity, equity and inclusion, advancing the University’s research mission, and prioritizing and allocating budgetary resources in a system of shared University governance across three campuses.

About the University of Washington

The University of Washington is one of the world’s preeminent public research universities, ranked No. 9 among all global universities in 2017 by the Center for World University Rankings and second in external research support among all national universities. The UW’s Be Boundless Campaign, with a goal of $5 Billion, is the largest for a public research university. It is a significant contributor to the economic vitality of the nation and workforce needs of the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest. Comprised of three campuses in Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma, along with an expanding presence in Spokane and a global network of programs and outreach, the UW educates more than 54,000 students annually across its three campuses, with another 55,000 through its Continuum College. The UW’s FY17 budget totals nearly $7.1 billion.

The University’s articulated, collective vision is to be the greatest public university in the world, as measured by the University’s impact. The UW provides a comprehensive portfolio of undergraduate, graduate, professional, and co-curricular programs that prepare and engage Washington’s and the world’s top students. The UW is a thriving center of education, research, and innovation in multiple fields and attracts exemplary faculty and a highly diverse student population.

The UW is also home to six renowned health science education programs, including medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, social work, and public health. The School of Medicine currently serves as a community based medical school for a five-state region (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho) through the WWAMI program, which includes partnerships with the five states and higher education institutions across the region. UW Medicine and UW health sciences professionals support a world-class health care system that serves the health care needs of the people of the state of Washington and surrounding region.

Governance

The Provost and Executive Vice President reports directly to the President. Together with the Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration (EVPFA), the Provost works to advance a collective University mission and vision. The President, Provost, and EVPFA serve as a three-part senior leadership team for the University. Together, the team is collectively responsible for developing and setting institutional policy and budget strategy. The Provost sets the strategic priorities and directions for the academic mission of the University and has broad budgetary authority over decisions that directly affect that mission.

The Provost is a key participant at the University Board of Regents, attending all formal public sessions and serving as lead on agenda items for the Academic and Student Affairs Committee. He/she works closely with the Regents throughout the year on a broad range of issues within the scope of his/her responsibilities and provides regular updates to the Regents on the academic and budgetary progress of the institution.

The Provost is an essential partner in University shared governance. The Provost convenes the Board of Deans and Chancellors, who are direct reports. The Provost provides leadership on academic and budget matters through active participation with the Faculty Senate Committee on Planning and Budgeting, and the Provost Advisory Committee for Students. The role also serves key functions in the appointment and promotion of faculty members, awarding tenure, and faculty adjudications.

Major areas of responsibility

The Provost has leadership and oversight responsibilities over a broad, complex portfolio of activities that are vital to the educational, scholarly, and research impact of the University.

Academic Affairs

As Chief Academic Officer, the Provost has broad oversight, policy, and management responsibilities for academic activities at the University. With support from several academic support units, the Provost is key to setting strategic directions and priorities for the University’s core academic mission. This includes a leadership role in enrollment management, undergraduate and graduate academic affairs, the libraries, student support programs and educational development, and the UW’s Continuum College.

Research

The Provost has overall responsibility for creating an outstanding climate of collaboration and support for the UW’s research mission and general oversight of University research programs. The Office of Research assists in carrying out these duties. This responsibility includes the review, through the Office of Grant and Contracts, of all proposals to outside agencies for support of research, University-administered traineeships and fellowships, institutes and special teaching programs, and other University activities, which are supported wholly or partially with non-University funds.

Academic Personnel

The Provost is responsible for the interpretation and implementation of University policies and procedures on appointment and retention of members of the faculty. This includes providing leadership on academic matters through the Faculty Councils and the Deans, reviewing recommendations for faculty appointments, salary increases and adjustments, and the awarding of tenure and promotion.

The Office of Academic Personnel assists in carrying out these duties. Through the Office of Academic Personnel, the Provost maintains records of personnel actions on all members of the University faculty. In addition, the Provost, through the Office of Equal Employment and Affirmative Action, is charged with overall responsibility for assuring compliance with the University’s Affirmative Action Program.

Budget

The Provost sets the strategic priorities and directions for the academic mission of the University and has broad budgetary authority over decisions that directly affect that mission. Together with the President and Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Provost not only leads decisions about the academic operating budget, but participates in decisions regarding resource allocation more broadly, including capital expenditures, debt capacity, endowment spending, and academic support units.

The Office of Planning & Budgeting assists carrying out these duties, including institutional analysis, operating resource planning, and state operations and policy analysis. The University adopted an Activity Based Budgeting (ABB) system in 2013 in which revenues generated from instructional and research activities are allocated directly to the unit responsible for the activity.

Global Affairs

The Provost also oversees the Office of Global Affairs. The Office of Global Affairs connects diverse networks of scholars, students, and community leaders engaging in international issues and scholarship. It also includes the UW centers in Italy and Spain.

Professional experience and qualifications

  • An outstanding profile of distinguished scholarship and teaching, suitable for a tenured appointment as a full professor, and an earned doctorate or other terminal degree
  • Commitment to academic freedom, tenure, and the University’s public mission as well as an appreciation for the value brought by diverse perspectives
  • Strong strategic management, finance, and budget skills
  • Significant leadership and management experience in complex, higher education environments, ideally in a decentralized and/or multi-campus structure and/or with a major health sciences component
  • Commitment to shared University governance and collaborative decision-making, as well as skill working in a climate of openness, transparency, and mutual respect across all levels of the University
  • Demonstrated skill and experience promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion across all aspects of the University
  • Strong collaboration skills
  • Strong communication skills, including speaking and writing publicly in consumable ways about the University’s mission and vision and decisions and policies

Application process

The Search Advisory Committee invites nominations, applications (a letter of interest, diversity statement, comprehensive curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information of five or more references), or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the University (electronic submissions preferred). Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. The Search Advisory Committee prefers that all nominations and applications be submitted to the search firm prior to August 15, 2017.

Laurie C. Wilder, President
Porsha L. Williams, Vice President
Jacob C. Anderson, Principal
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2900
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: 770-804-1996 X 111
pwilliams@parkersearch.com | janderson@parkersearch.com

The University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.

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