New administrator search begins next fall


Elizabeth Hanson

Baker University Image by Elizabeth Hanson.

Story by Brenna Thompson, News Editor

A nationwide search for the combined position of Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Vice President of Academic Affairs will begin next fall.

Two BU interim administrators are currently filling these roles separately; however, combining them into one position will allow one person to oversee both CAS, as well as all four colleges within Baker University.

Although the search will not officially begin until next fall, the university will publish the position description this semester. The position will then be advertised during the fall semester.

Interim Provost Tes Mehring said that although Baker University will eliminate the position of provost, the vice president of academic affairs position will have similar duties, but with a different title. The current provost is responsible for all academic affairs.

Martha Harris, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, currently oversees all academic programs at CAS. Unlike the current provost position, her focus is solely on one college. Whoever is hired for the new administrative position will oversee all four colleges while being the specific head of CAS.

“It’ll be a challenging position,” Harris said. “There should be a great deal of balance involved.”

This combined role will not be the first of its kind at Baker University. The previous provost, Brian Posler, was both the dean of CAS and the provost, so the upcoming search can possibly be considered a return to a past model.

Mehring understands the responsibilities the combined role will entail and recognizes there may be some challenges that arise in balancing both roles. She said the person who takes on this position must consider the needs of all four colleges while simultaneously paying particular attention to what is best for CAS.

“There may be some conflict,” she said. “They will have to juggle the amount of time spent toward each of the four colleges.”