Girod at Student Senate 9.5

University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod provides opening remarks at the first Student Senate meeting of the semester.

Finalists’ names in the provost search were submitted to the Office of the Chancellor after a series of interviews with a University of Kansas search committee, a University spokesperson said Tuesday. 

University students, staff and faculty have had the same interim provost, Carl Lejuez, since April 2018, but after a search committee launched in spring 2019, a new person may be taking over the position. 

Michelle Mohr Carney, one of the committee’s co-chairs, said nine candidates were visiting Oct. 1 and Oct. 2 for initial interviews during a community forum on Sept. 27. 

Lejuez confirmed he was one of the applicants during the same community forum

Student Body President Tiara Floyd confirmed candidates visited during her officer report in a Student Senate meeting Oct. 2. Floyd was part of the 14-person committee that interviewed candidates.

“Before you ask any questions, no, I can’t tell you anything about the candidates, who has been chosen, anything like that. It’s confidential,” Floyd said during her officer report on Oct. 2. 

During those interviews, candidates met with the committee, after which they were narrowed to a group of finalists.

Those finalists will be invited to individual meetings and host a presentation that’s open to the campus, University spokeswoman Erinn Barcomb-Peterson said. The finalists’ visits are expected to take place in late October and early November. 

Candidates’ names will be shared days before they arrive, Barcomb-Peterson said, but the full dates and times will be available in-advance, similar to the process for the vice chancellor for research

Lejuez has held the position since April 17, 2018. While he’s been interim provost, he’s been at the helm of rolling out a $20 million budget cut and implementing a new budget model. He’s hosted multiple budget forums over the course of the 2017-2018 academic year. 

The new provost will help execute the goals in the University’s next strategic plan and direct all internal affairs of the Lawrence campus, according to the leadership statement for the provost position.

The University hired R. William Funk and Associates, a national executive search firm, to help find candidates. The University has hired them in the past for various dean, provost and chancellor searches. 

The 14-person committee has leaders in University governance and various professors. Graduate Student Body vice president Chris Brown was one of the members who was a part of the process.

“Certainly I did want to recognize that being a part of the provost search has been certainly an honor, given that the university really does cherish that student voice,” Brown said during his officer report on Oct. 2. “And having that a part of the process I think is a pretty good deal, and a good recognition of where we are as a Senate. Because it really is a huge position to hire and bring to the University.”

Student Senate reporter Lucy Peterson contributed to this report.