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Internal Search Announcement: Executive Vice President and University Provost

The role of the Executive Vice President and University Provost

The Office of the Executive Vice President and University Provost is responsible for the academic enterprise of ASU and leads a complex organization that provides both a multitude of opportunities and challenges to ensure the successful drive toward the University’s goals and charter. As such, the Provost is engaged in all aspects of ensuring the day to day operations and the innovations necessary to advance and create new initiatives that drive student and faculty success. The Provost ensures academic excellence through appropriate faculty recruitment, retention, and renewal processes, as well as through rigorous review of faculty appointments, tenure, and promotion. The Provost is also responsible for the planning, quality, and delivery of the in-person and online programs provided to all ASU students at all campus locations. The Provost carries out these responsibilities in coordination with the ASU Faculty Senate and attends all senate meetings to promote a spirit of shared governance with the faculty.

Today, the Provost oversees a large team of more than 38 direct reports, including 20 deans, who in turn lead ASU’s 17 colleges (due to its size, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has three divisional deans and a dean of the college); 12 vice provosts and vice presidents overseeing Academic Alliances, Academic Innovation, Academic Personnel, Enrollment Services (which includes recruiting, registrar, financial aid, and other related activities), Global Academic Initiatives (which leads all efforts for building ASU across the world), Global Futures (with the Executive Vice President of Knowledge Enterprise), Planning and Budget, Inclusion and Community Engagement, Online Educational Initiatives (EdPlus), Student Success, Undergraduate Education, and the University Libraries. In addition, the Chief Information Officer responsible for the University Technology Office is jointly responsible to the Provost and Chief Financial Officer/University Treasurer. The Chief Executive Officer of the Global Sports Institute – a philanthropically funded initiative to expand our knowledge of the role and impact of sport in society – reports to the Provost. All professors holding the distinction of the title “University Professor” report to the Provost.

The Provost mentors and supports the academic deans and other direct reports to ensure that they are addressing the goals of the University in addition to those of their respective colleges. This includes revenue targets, personnel planning, space planning, degree planning, among other initiatives. In addition to being an academic leader in their own right, the Provost cultivates and inspires academic leadership at all levels of the University.

The Provost reports directly to the President and serves as a member of his Executive Committee. In addition, the Provost serves on a number of Working Groups, including: Finance, which sets the University’s budget and revenue goals; Enrollment, which provides the University’s recruitment initiatives with an opportunity for the President to engage and provide direction, where necessary; EdPlus, which provides oversight to the University-wide support organization enabling technologically enhanced and delivered education; Tucson, which coordinates efforts around ASU’s presence in Tucson; and Global, which provides coordination and oversight to all ASU global initiatives.

Key opportunities and challenges

ASU has achieved dramatic growth and success over the last two decades, and the Provost must establish the tone that the University is continually striving for even greater academic impact and distinction. The incoming Provost will have a leadership style that aligns with ASU’s culture of invention and innovation, and a vision for the future of ASU. The nature of this position given the complexity of ASU, requires someone with a tireless effort to be engaged, problem solve, and advance the University’s academic enterprise while contributing to all other aspects of the University including the knowledge enterprise, learning enterprise, services for students, staff engagement, and external relations. The Provost is expected to be available 24/7 irrespective where they may be in the world and cannot slow down the need for the organization to advance with dispatch. Candidates need to be willing to engage at this level of intensity.

With this as a framework, the Provost be asked to embrace and execute against the following opportunities and challenges:

Strengthen the student educational experience

ASU’s vision of inclusiveness emphasizes both access and success. The University prides itself on educating, nurturing, and supporting students across their academic careers to enable them to address grand challenges in the world they will enter upon graduation. The incoming Provost must fully embrace this design principle and continue to center students as the primary mission of the University, focusing on enrollment strategies, increasing student retention and graduation rates, and offering excellent and relevant academic degree programs. Over one third of students are first-generation students, and the Provost must be mindful of the unique needs of the student body and work diligently to shore up resources to enable student success. With an increasingly diverse and international student body attending the University in the next few years, the Provost will be attentive to supporting ways in which the learning environment can be adapted and improved to attend to diverse needs, and to support an inclusive environment and success for all students.

Enable academic excellence and innovation

As the most visible champion for ASU’s academic enterprise, the Provost will develop a collaborative vision for the academic and research goals of the University. In collaboration with the college deans, the Provost will continue to improve ASU’s strategies for successfully recruiting, developing, and retaining outstanding faculty members, with special emphasis on recruiting outstanding senior faculty and ensuring that the faculty body is reflective of the intellectual, racial, ethnic, and gender composition of the students the University serves. The Provost will also continue to build out infrastructure and guidelines to support and build capacity for research, with increased emphasis on STEM, social sciences, and creative activity. Partnering with the Office of Knowledge Enterprise, the Provost will continue to increase momentum behind research engagement. The Provost will also keep a broad perspective on the University’s charter and ensure a focus on community outreach and meeting the needs of underrepresented populations. Bringing to bear significant experience in strategic planning and accreditation, the Provost will help the University adapt to changing trends in higher education and promote academic program excellence.

Manage a complex financial enterprise and enable continued growth

The Provost will relentlessly seek new avenues to enable ASU’s continued growth in student enrollment, research, and physical space. The Provost will be tasked with both strategic and creative management of existing resources and with building earned revenue through the development of new programs. Growing interest in STEM, health sciences, business, and other pre-professional programs, as well as large course enrollments from non-major students across the University, will continue to provide resources. At the same time, ASU is undertaking ambitious growth plans, and the Provost is expected to exercise creativity and ingenuity to establish revenue streams that will fuel the growth and support capital planning. In doing so, they will partner with advancement on fundraising, industry sponsorships, and other kinds of beneficial relationships.

Serve as an ambassador and academic champion, enhancing the visibility of the University locally, nationally, and internationally

The Provost will play a key role in promoting and marketing the University’s academic activities externally. They engage with the local partners such as community colleges, industry, and the state legislature, working closely with the Office of Public Affairs, to ensure ASU is responsive to the educational needs of the state. As the principal University leader for all Arizona Board of Regents academic matters, the Provost attends

all Academic Affairs and Educational Attainment Committee meetings of the Board, as well as other committees as may be necessary and the Board meeting. In addition, the Provost leads and negotiates various partnerships and agreements for the academic enterprise in collaboration with the Office of General Counsel and other campus leadership. This includes liaising and contributing to the oversight of partnerships including those with the Mayo Clinic, Dignity Health, Dublin City University, Leuphana University, Ben Gurion University, among many others. Through participation in national conferences and other professional associations, the Provost will continually engage in thought leadership on the future of universities in the 21st century. By staying true to the University’s ideals of access and equity, the Provost will enhance ASU’s ability to deliver transformational education across the state of Arizona, the United States, and internationally.

Qualifications and characteristics

The successful candidate for the Provost will be an experienced academic leader with a high level of energy, enthusiasm, and drive to achieve ambitious University-wide goals. While no one candidate may possess all of them, the successful candidate will offer many of the following qualifications and attributes:

  • A PhD or other terminal degree and a strong record of academic teaching and active research and scholarship;
  • Tenured full professor;
  • Leadership and administrative experience;
  • Demonstrated success in promoting and sustaining organizational change and innovation;
  • A record of developing and supporting excellent and innovative academic programs at the undergraduate, masters, professional, and doctoral levels, both within and across disciplines;
  • An enthusiasm for students, an understanding of their needs, and what it takes to inspire success;
  • Demonstrated success in cultivating research and scholarship. Ability to identify and support areas of research opportunity that span individual investigators and existing disciplines;
  • Demonstrated accomplishment in issues around inclusivity, equity, and diversity, incorporating them into the daily operations of the organization and embedding them as learning outcomes in academic instruction and research;
  • Superb communication skills and the ability to collaborate and work constructively with other University leaders, developing partnerships with other divisions to further the mission of the institution;
  • Ability to make difficult, timely and principled decisions;
  • Honesty, integrity, resilience, humility, and a sense of humor.

Applications, inquiries, and nominations

Reviews of candidate materials will begin immediately and the position will remain open until filled. Confidential inquiries, nominations and referrals should be sent to Vice Provost Designee Tiffany Lopez and Dean Patrick Kenney, Co-Chairs of the Search Committee at tiffany.ana.lopez@asu.edu and pkenney@asu.edu.

To apply, submit a CV with cover letter to:

Nicole Barr

For full consideration, the deadline for receipt of applications is October 19, 2020. This search is open to internal, ASU candidates only.


Download the job description (PDF)

The Search Committee Members


  • Ayanna Thompson, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, English
  • Simin Levinson, College of Health Solutions
  • Mike Angilletta, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Life Sciences
  • Cynthia Lietz, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions Patricia Friedrich. New College
  • Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, Biodesign Institute
  • Ram Pendyala, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
  • Matthew Scotch, College of Health Solutions, Biomedical Informatics
  • Wanda Dalla Costa, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
  • Marianne Barrett, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Angela Banks, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
  • Stephanie Pfirman, College for Global Futures
  • Amy Ostrom, W. P. Carey School of Business
  • Michelene Chi, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
  • Mansour Javidan, Thunderbird School of Global Management
  • Meenakshi Wadwha, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Earth and Space Exploration
  • Rodney Hero, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Politics and Global Studies
  • Brenda Hosley, Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation
  • Nicola Foote, College of Integrative Arts and Sciences, Barrett, The Honors College