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Faculty Senate Meeting Recap: Provost Search Update

The UNCP Faculty Senate discussed the search for a new provost during their monthly meeting on March 1.

Dr. Richard Vela, the chair of the provost search committee, gave an update on the process, which is set to conclude in April.

Vela announced that three candidates remained in the search. All were scheduled to visit campus the week after spring break.

Dr. Steven Ralston, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Morehead State University, previously served as dean of the school of communication at Marist College. He holds a doctorate in communication from Indiana University.

Dr. David Ward, a dean at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Ga., previously served as dean at the University of New England for roughly six years.

The final candidate is Dr. Jerry Hale, dean of the school of humanities and social sciences at College of Charleston. Hale has almost seven years of experience as a dean, having worked at the University of Michigan-Dearborn before his time at Charleston. He also taught for 19 years at the University of Georgia.

The candidates will interact with deans, administrators, faculty members and students during their visits. Each candidate will also meet one-on-one with Chancellor Robin Cummings and Interim Provost Dr. Scott Billingsley.

Although the visits will provide significant opportunities for the candidates to market themselves to the campus community, Vela stressed the importance of making a good first impression on them as well.

“We’re selling ourselves to them as much as they’re selling themselves to us,” Vela said.

A final decision will be made shortly after the visits conclude, with the search committee expected to make their recommendation to the chancellor on March 22. The new provost will be revealed at the Board of Trustees meeting on April 20-21.

Several proposals were passed throughout the remainder of the meeting. One, which was brought forth by the enrollment management subcommittee, changed the impact of an ‘incomplete’ on students’ transcripts.

The proposal called for an end to the practice of penalizing student immediately for incompletes given due to unavoidable circumstances or Title IX issues.

“If faculty are utilizing the [incomplete] appropriately according to the policy, it is inappropriate to penalize the student for the incomplete during the time allowed by the policy,” according to the proposal. The policy currently allows students one semester to address the issue.

Three individual departments had curriculum proposals approved. The Department of English, Theatre and Foreign Languages replaced their B.A. in English Education tracks that focused on middle school and high school preparation with licensure concentrations.

The Department of Music saw two approvals as well, both dealing with degree requirement revisions for their B.A. in Music Industry tracks.

The Department of Political Science and Administration successfully proposed to create a new five-year program that will allow students to earn both a B.A. in Political Science and a Masters of Public Administration. This was done in order to add value to the program and help students expedite their educational careers, per the proposal.

The Faculty Senate meets on the first Wednesday of every month. Its next meeting is scheduled for April 5 in University Center room 213 at 3:15 p.m.

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