Inside Clemson

Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost search update (expanded version)

By Jeremy King, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost search committee chair

The Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost (EVPAA) search committee met three times in May.  A great deal of effort has gone into the search to find the right candidate who—along with President Clements—can lead Clemson into the future. The committee appreciates the patience of the Clemson community as it sorted through a “couple thousand pages” of application materials the past few weeks, and offers this update:

Thanks to the efforts of our passionate and dedicated marketing, public relations and creative services team, we estimate the Clemson Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost opportunity was placed before 70,000 individuals in various formats using an assortment of media. This effort included direct contact with a nationwide list of deans, vice presidents, provosts and presidents.

Every click to the search website has been subject to analytic tracking, yielding an impressive amount of data on yield, cost-per-click, and potential interest (measured in time spent on page and clicks within page) associated with different forms of advertising.  We hope these aggressive marketing and analytic intelligence efforts can enhance the outcomes and wise use of resources in future administrative searches.

Our search consultant, Funk & Associates, informs us that we have obliterated their firm’s records for contacts in an executive search. More than 400 contacts with prospective candidates and nominees were made. More than half of these resulted from the thoughtful nominations submitted by our extended Clemson family via the search Web page, and to the search committee chair or the President’s Office.

As a result of these contacts, the committee received and reviewed over 100 applications representing nearly every discipline, academic division, and type and size of institution. At its May 27 meeting, the committee, after due diligence and deliberation, reached broad consensus on roughly 10 candidates. The likely home departments of those candidates are spread across all colleges.

The committee will speak to references identified by these candidates and conduct offsite interviews by mid-June. The committee has also reaffirmed its commitment to the Clemson community that any candidates it ultimately recommends to President Clements will have to make a public visit to campus and meet with faculty, staff, and students.

The committee intends to bring finalists to campus at the end of June and through mid-July. I realize and appreciate that faculty would prefer such visits not occur in mid-summer.  However, executive academic searches now start and end every month of the year.  Moreover, I expect that faculty understand the magnitude and urgency of work we as a campus face regarding planning, assessment, and filling administrative positions; that work needs leadership from our next provost.

Those unable to attend campus forums will be able to participate via streaming and archived video, submission of questions for finalists, and providing finalist feedback. The President has repeatedly stressed that he will not select a candidate without input and support that extends far beyond the search committee. I urge faculty, staff, and students to provide such input at the appropriate time through the mechanisms that will be put in place.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions and stay tuned.