Interim provost says he has no plans to keep the job

When President Ann Weaver Hart was appointed this summer, the university was also immediately faced with the task of filling another high level administrative position.Ira Schwartz, Temple’s Provost of four years, retired July 1, creating a vacancy for the position. Schwartz stepped down to act as president and chief executive officer of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.One of Hart’s first actions in office was to appoint then-deputy provost Richard M. Englert as interim provost, effective July 1.Englert will serve as Temple’s chief academic officer until a permanent replacement is found.The provost is the second-highest-ranking administrativeposition behind the President.In charge of academic affairs, academic support programs, and research programs, the provost has a major hand in the workings of the university.According to Englert, his responsibilities, “run the gambit of the whole academic enterprise, and involves working very closely with deans, supporting faculty and students, and making sure that the academic programs are at the level they need to be.”Englert will act as provost during an interim period while an exploration is done by a search committee designatedby the university.Heading this committee is the Dean of the College of Health Professions, Dr. Ronald T. Brown. According to Brown, the search process has already begun, as Temple is currently accepting bids by outside search firms to aid in the course of their hunt.However, the complete list of search committee members has not been released. According to Brown, they are waiting on two Board of Trustee members’ acceptance of their committee positions before all names of members are released.The full committee should be announced shortly, possibly by this end of this week, according to Brown.A national search will be conducted by this committee to find a candidate to fill the role. According to Chief Communications Officer Mark Eyerly, “the university will be seeking an accomplished scholar and teacher with leadership experience in higher education.”Working with the president, the search committee will create a pool of candidates that will eventually be whittled down to one, whom the Board of Trustee’s will then elect as an officer of the university.The possibility remains that someone within the University may be named for the position, as was the case with another position within the provost hierarchy.Stephanie Smith, previously the Director of Academic Advising in the College of Liberal Arts, was recently named Associate Vice Provost.When asked about possibly being named as the next provost, Englert responded, “I have already told the President that she should have a free reign in selecting whoever she wants. She shouldn’t be wedded to an interim provost.”I don’t plan on applying for the position,” Englert added.Still, according to Englert, the university should have no problem finding a wealth of qualified candidates to fill the position, mainly, in his opinion, because of another recently added administrative official.”People are going to come because of President Ann Weaver Hart,” Englert said.The relationship between a provost and president is a vital one, according to Englert, and what kind of chemistry they have may be a deciding factor as to who is selected.”I suspect the president will want someone who fills a strong provost role,” said Englert.According to Brown, students should expect to see a new provost named within the academic year, most likely sometime in the spring.Nolan Rosenkrans can be reached at

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