Wiencek awaits word from U.Mo. on pending provost position

Matt Leonard
Online Content Editor

Next semester, VCU’s interim provost John Wiencek may have pledged his allegiance to a new mascot pending the outcome of the University of Missouri’s ongoing provost search.

Wiencek is one of four finalists for the provost position at U.Mo. According to Christian Basi, the associate director of the news bureau at U.Mo., the university would like the position filled by the spring 2015 semester.

John Wiencek is a finalist in the University of Missouri’s ongoing provost search. Phoyo courtesy of VCU public affairs

Wiencek has served as VCU’s interim provost since then-provost Beverly Warren was named president at Kent State University last spring.

Following Warren’s announcement, VCU began a provost search, narrowing the applicant pool to four finalists before deciding to conduct an entirely new search with different candidates. VCU President Michael Rao has since selected a new search committee and began the process from scratch.

Wiencek could not comment on whether he had been offered the full-time provost position at VCU.

“Since the provost search processes at both the University of Missouri and VCU are in progress, it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment about the specifics of either search,” he said.

Aside from Wiencek, the three other provost finalists are Garnett Stokes, the interim president of Florida State University, Nancy Brickhouse, the deputy provost at University of Delaware and Michele Wheatley, provost and vice provost of academic affairs at West Virginia University.

Basi said each of the finalists have been to the U.Mo. campus in Colombia, Missouri for an open-forum style interview process. He said this allows the entire campus to give feedback, which the search committee will take into consideration when making their recommendation to Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin.

Basi said that Loftin is ultimately responsible for making the final decision and pay negotiations will follow his decision before the position is officially filled. Currently, Wiencek makes  $240,000 annually at VCU, according to data from the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The new provost at Missouri will oversee all academic programs, planning and budgets. About 35,000 students are divided between 19 colleges and 300 degree programs at U.Mo., which is comparable to VCU’s population of about 31,000 students and 222 degree programs.

“We are currently in the midst of a strategic operating plan that we are looking to help the university move forward and become a leader in many academic areas,” Basi said. “So the provost will be a key component of moving that plan forward so we can achieve those goals.”

U.Mo.’s plan reads similarly to VCU’s Quest for Distinction, which establishes goals for better student recruitment, infrastructure projects and faculty pay, among other aspects.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply