Faculty members, department chairs have high expectations for Shapiro’s replacement
Faculty members reacted with little surprise and high expectations for future candidates following Provost Gary Shapiro’s recent announcement of his retirement at the end of the academic year.
“It was expected. When he took the job, he indicated he would only stay a couple years,” said economics department chairperson Paul Natke.
Shapiro will continue to hold the position of Provost for the next nine months and take a transitional leave after that. He plans to assist the university’s search for his replacement.
Jeffery Betts, school of health sciences department chairperson, said he expects Shapiro to continue the process of Academic Prioritization and proper allocation of funds in his remaining time as provost.
Political science department chairperson Orlando Perez said future candidates should be leaders with the academic credentials to inspire faculty and students.
“I think we need someone that appreciates and values the role that faculty play at the university,” Perez said. “I think we need a person with an outstanding record of teaching and research. I think we need a visionary leader that can inspire the best in the faculty and the students.”
Judy Sherlock, director of career services, hopes for somebody who shares Shapiro’s vision to take his place.
“I certainly hope who it is shares a similar vision so we can keep making great strides moving the university forward,” she said.
Sherlock said she would give Shapiro an A+ for his performance as provost.
“He had to make some rough decisions, he made them … and always with respect and what was best for CMU in his heart,” she said.
The provost is in charge of the university’s seven academic colleges, the College of Graduate Studies, Global Campus and other parts of the university, such as international education and academic affairs.
“It’s a most important office, executive vice president to the university, so this person, in my opinion, needs to have an appreciation of a wide range of the academic spectrum,” said geography department chairperson Bin Li. “… And of course the person should have an established academic career as a scholar. Of course they should have the necessary experience.”
Academic Senate chairperson Jim McDonald said it’s important to hire someone with good communication.
“They need to listen,” he said. ”They need to be collaborative. They need to be a faculty advocate. They need to have standards. I’d like to see them be consultive. Before you make a decision, get people’s input.”
After he leaves the provost position, Shapiro plans to return to teaching in 2014. Between 1978-89, Shapiro taught in CMU’s sociology, anthropology and social work department before beginning his administrative career.
“He was director of institutional research (when I began at the university). I got to know him as acting registrar,” said Sherlock. “At that point, I got to interact with him professionally and understand where his heart was providing resources to CMU students.”
Shapiro has worked at CMU for 35 years.
“I certainly appreciate his support of high academic standards and research,” Perez said.
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