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Postponed search for WCU provost to resume this spring

The committee conducting a nationwide search to find Western Carolina University’s next permanent provost will resume its work this spring after the process was suspended in March in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

WCU Chancellor Kelli R. Brown asked committee chair Dale Carpenter, professor of special education and former dean of the College of Education and Allied Professions, to reconvene the group before the end of the spring semester to discuss plans for restarting the search. The 13-member committee will be working with the Parker Executive Search firm.

“I have asked that the search firm begin to recruit qualified candidates over the summer, with the plan to conduct Skype interviews in August and have on-campus interviews the second and third weeks of September,” Brown said. “The expectation is to have a permanent provost in place no later than Jan. 1, 2021.”

In addition to Carpenter, members of the search committee are:

* Heidi Buchanan, professor, and research and instruction librarian, Hunter Library.

* Phil Cauley, assistant vice chancellor for undergraduate enrollment, Division of Student Affairs.

* Chris Cooper, department head and Robert Lee Madison Professor of Political Science and Public Affairs, College of Arts and Sciences.

* Yang Fan, professor of project management, College of Business.

* Enrique Gomez, 2019-2020 chair of the Faculty Senate and associate professor of physics and astronomy, College of Arts and Sciences.

* Nelson Granda-Marulanda, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, College of Engineering and Technology.

* Alicia Grande, instructor of psychology, College of Education and Allied Professions.

* Carol Hicks, executive assistant to the dean, Hunter Library.

* Matt Liddle, professor of print and book arts, College of Fine and Performing Arts.

* Amy Murphy-Nugen, assistant professor of social work, College of Health and Human Sciences.

* Chesney Reich, director of the Writing and Learning Commons, Division of Academic Affairs.

* Melissa Canady Wargo, chief of staff, Chancellor’s Division.

In the meantime, Richard Starnes, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will remain in the role of interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.


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