Search for New Provost Begins: committee and consultants get to work

Noah Yantis – 

On April 28, 2015, Illinois College President Barbara Farley announced to the campus, via email, that Provost and Dean of the College Elizabeth Tobin would be retiring effective June 30, 2016 after 10 years of service to the Illinois College community.

Following this announcement and summer break, a committee was formed that includes faculty, staff, and students in order to find a suitable replacement for Dean Tobin.

The Committee is Chaired by Dr. Nick Capo, Associate Professor of English, and Stephanie Chipman, Vice-President of Enrollment Management and College Marketing.

The roster for the Committee was announced on September 22 by President Farley and is as follows:

Dr. Susan Pratt ‘80 (Board of Trustees), Professor Pat Kiihn (Dept. of Mathematics and Faculty Senate Chair), Professor Elizabeth Rellinger Zettler (Dept. of Psychology), Professor John Drea (Chairman of Management and Organizational Leadership Program), Professor Kailia Wright (Dept. of Communication and Rhetorical Studies), Professor Abby Musgrove (Dept. of Music), Athletic Director Mike Snyder, Director of Human Resources Angela Valuck, Coordinator of Career Engagement Cori Wagner, Christian Flores (Political Science Major ‘18), and Angel Ewing (Education Major ‘17).

Dean Tobin’s chief job as Provost of the College is serving as the Chief Academic Officer, meaning that anything dealing with the classroom side of the College is overseen by her office.

In order to find a suitable candidate to fill the large shoes that Dean Tobin is leaving behind, the College has teamed up with AGB Search, a firm out of Washington, DC. Together the College and the firm will search the country for the best possible candidate.

The two partners with AGB Search, Dr. Tom Courtice, a Consultant and Managing Principal, and Judith War, a Consultant, visited campus on September 23 and 24 to “scope out campus” and meet with faculty, staff, students, and the College’s newly-formed Search Committee.

Dr. Courtice and Ms. Ward will return on October 14 to present the “position prospectus” of the College and to move into the next step of the national search for the next Provost of Illinois College.

In order for the Illinois College campus to be informed of the activity of the Committee, President Farley will be sending out periodic emails with information regarding the search and the results it breeds. The Committee was opened up to students on September 19 in an email from President Farley. That message also announced to students that they could send recommendations to her, and attend a forum on September 23 in Cummings Dining Hall side room.

Illinois College’s new Provost will plan to be announced in February of 2013, allowing four months to get a feel for the campus environment and work around Dean Tobin.

Dean Tobin was an instrumental piece in the puzzle known as the BLUEprint and helped Illinois College retain its accreditation this past year and ten years prior.

Provost Tobin was also a key player in persuading the Board of Trustees to pass the student-resisted Textbook Policy that is now in full swing and has produced surprisingly positive results thus far this semester.

The Hilltop will deeply miss Dean Tobin and her husband Professor Steve Hochstadt, who is retiring as well at the end of this academic year.

Noah Yantis, from Arthur, Illinois, is a sophomore majoring in History with a minor in Political Science and Communication and Rhetorical Studies. Noah is Treasurer and Features Editor of The Rambler and Public Relations Chairman of Student Senate.

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