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Provost Shapiro to resign as Provost; plans to return to teaching in 2014

Provost Gary Shapiro announced he will resign from his current position of executive vice president and provost of the university at the end of the academic year after 35 years of service at Central Michigan University.

Shapiro taught in CMU’s sociology, anthropology and social work department from 1978 until 1989. He was appointed director of institutional research in 1989, assistant vice provost for institutional research and planning in 1993, and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1995. He served as interim registrar and vice provost from 1994-95. At the same time, Shapiro was dean of the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences since July 1997. Shapiro acted as interim provost in 2007 and again from July 2009 to August 2010 when he was appointed permanent provost.

University President George Ross said he asked Shapiro in 2010 to commit to two or three years as provost. This is Shapiro’s third year in the position.

“Provost Shapiro is a tireless advocate for excellence and has great vision for what CMU is and can be,” Ross said in a statement released Tuesday. “Gary always pursues what he believes is right for the university and for students.”

Shapiro, as provost, leads the university’s seven academic colleges, the College of Graduate Studies, Global Campus, and other parts of the university including international education and academic affairs.

“Perhaps the greatest factor in my decision … is the knowledge we now have an academic leadership team that will take CMU to heights we’re just beginning to understand,” Shapiro said in a release. “Thus, after 35 years — the last 22 years in administrative positions — it is time to move forward personally, just like the university moves ever forward. Rest assured, I will continue to watch and support CMU, applauding its progress, its achievements and its evolution.”

Shapiro said he will continue on as provost for the next nine months and will take a transition leave after that. He plans to return to teaching in 2014, and will use his transition leave to figure out which field of teaching he will go back to.

“I’m turning 69 in a few weeks,” he said. “The provost’s position is an extremely intense and busy position and I’m ready to pass it to someone new.”

Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts Salma Ghanem said she respects Shapiro’s decision and is glad he will still be around.

“I really enjoyed working with Provost Shapiro and am glad he will be around for a year to help with the transition,” she said.  “I wish him the best of luck if this is what he wants to do.”

A national search for Shapiro’s successor as provost will launch this fall. Shapiro said he will not have direct involvement with the search.

“Provost Shapiro is a strong and powerful leader,” said Charles Crespy, dean of the College of Business Administration. “Shapiro knows pretty much everything there is to know about the university, and has been a pillar of integrity and strength in the community. His successor will have enormous shoes to fill.”

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