DePaul Faculty Council representatives agreed that the university should begin the search for a new provost this fall at their meeting Wednesday April 9.
Several representatives cited the need for stability at the university and that there was no benefit to putting off the search. Following DePaul President Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider’s announcement of academic leave this fall, he asked faculty council to provide a recommendation on whether to begin the search for a permanent provost in fall of 2014 or 2015.
During Fr. Holtschneider’s leave, Patricia O’Donoghue, current interim provost, will take over as interim president and retire upon Holtschneider’s return. David Miller, dean of CDM, will add the position of interim provost until a permanent replacement is selected.
“We just need stability,” one faculty council representative said. “We have had an interim (provost) for several years now.” Another representative added that an additional two years with an interim provost would leave too many question marks.
However, several representatives raised concern with Miller splitting his time between both positions and said it was a major “conflict of interest.”
“The fact that I’ve just heard that David plans to stay as Dean of CDM while being provost is an inherent conflict of interest … we need to do this search as soon as possible,” another representative said.
Concern over instability in the leadership of the university, lots of turnover and lack of a consistent provost were also mentioned by a representative.
Donald Pope-Davis joined DePaul as provost in July 2013 following a nationwide search, only to resign six months later. With Miller stepping in as interim provost this fall, he will be the third person to hold the position since July 2012.
Faculty Council sent their recommendation to Fr. Holtschneider and a decision regarding the provost search is expected to be made later this month.