Search firm hired for provost search, position expected to be filled by April

An executive search firm has been hired and charged with finding a replacement for Provost Gary Shapiro, who will resign at the end of this year to return to teaching in 2014.

In an interview with Central Michigan Life on Tuesday, University President George Ross said the search committee is making progress and hopes to name a finalist to the position by April of 2013. Parker Executive Search has been named as the search firm charged with finding the next provost. The firm, based out of Atlanta, has been operating since 1984 and has conducted more than 1,000 senior-level searches.

“We have a search consultant firm found and hope to have advertisements for the position posted by Jan. 1,” Ross said. “We’ll be speaking with candidates this month and hope to have a selection by the middle portion of next semester.”

This month, the company assisted in the hiring of head football coaches at both Georgia State and North Carolina State University, and Parker Executive Search will orchestrate the provost search with the help of a 14-member search committee that was formed earlier this month.

The committee is composed of a cross-section of campus faculty and staff and will be responsible for posting advertisements for the job opening, processing and viewing applications and conducting interviews with finalists.

After finalists have been selected, they will be invited to campus for formal interviews and open forums.

“The office of the provost plays a critical leadership role at CMU,” Ross said. “The largest division at the university reports to the provost. I’m literally looking for a partner, someone to be my right-hand. It’s very critical that they have a broad breadth of experience and knowledge.”

Shapiro will serve as provost until the end of the year, at which point he will take a transitional leave before returning to campus to teach in 2014. During this one-year period, Shapiro will continue to receive his regular annual salary of $254,000.

However, as Associate Vice President of Human Resources Lori Hella previously told Central Michigan Life, he won’t be absent for the transition.

“It’s called a 'leave,' but the provost will still be actively involved in university business,” Hella said previously. “He will have an office on campus, will be working with the transition of the new provost, working with international education, as well as student learning and preparing to return to the classroom.”


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