March 25, 2020: Provost search update

Dear faculty, staff and students:

I’m writing to update you on the status of MSU’s provost search.

This search began on October 29 when I announced a diverse and inclusive search committee chaired by MSU Foundation Professor Beronda Montgomery and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dean Ronald Hendrick. Earlier this week the co-chairs recommended to me, with support from Parker Executive Search, a process for completing the search while adhering to the governor’s executive order and my campus directives regarding novel coronavirus precautions.

The search process has identified three highly qualified finalists drawn from a rich pool of candidates from across the country who genuinely inspired and impressed the search committee. I was able to speak with each, and I share the committee’s enthusiasm for these finalists.

Online finalist “visits” will be held on March 30, March 31 and April 1, with each finalist meeting virtually with a wide range of faculty, staff and students. This includes an open forum being held via Zoom for each candidate on the above-mentioned dates, from noon to 1 p.m. each day. The open forum process will include:

  • An opportunity to submit questions for the open forum through an online survey. Questions for consideration should be submitted by noon on Friday, March 27. These suggestions will inform a standard set of questions that a forum moderator will ask each candidate. Great attention will be paid to asking as many questions on as wide a range of topics as possible.
  • An announcement distributed by email to the campus community prior to each “visit” that will include the CV and details about the candidate, as well as links to the livestream open forum and a feedback survey.
  • An additional survey link when each candidate is announced. This survey link will give the MSU community an opportunity to submit additional potential questions for the open forum, specific to each candidate.

These details and additional information will be available on MSU’s provost search page. Our search firm has experience completing searches using this method of input. I realize it is not typical, but I want to continue to move our search to conclusion, and our faculty, staff and students have demonstrated an outstanding ability to effectively adapt during this unprecedented time.

In closing, I want to thank all of you in advance for your participation in this important process, and I want to reiterate my ongoing appreciation for Interim Provost Teresa Sullivan’s outstanding service to this institution. I also wish to extend my gratitude to the provost search committee and its chairs for their excellent work.

Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.