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Candidates sought for vice provost position


Published June 26, 2014

“The position offers a unique opportunity to affect positively the lives and careers of our colleagues all across the university.”
Charles Mitchell, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor
Department of Geology

The committee heading up the search for a new vice provost for faculty affairs is seeking senior UB faculty members willing to take on the role of promoting faculty excellence.

“The position offers a unique opportunity to affect positively the lives and careers of our colleagues all across the university,” says Charles E. Mitchell, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Geology and chair of the search committee.

The search committee is looking for a successor to Lucinda M. Finley, who stepped down as vice provost at the end of the academic year to resume her faculty role as a teacher and scholar in the UB Law School. Finley had served in the position for nine years.

The vice provost for faculty affairs (VPFA) plays a crucial role at UB, according Mitchell.

The most visible part of the job —“and arguably the most important” — he says, is to provide leadership and guidance to the UB community about faculty development. This ranges from new faculty orientation, to helping chairs develop effective mentoring policies, to the promotion-and-tenure process.

While the VPFA leads the President’s Review Board, the university-wide faculty committee that advises the provost and president on promotion and tenure decisions, the administrator’s role “extends beyond the watershed event of granting tenure” to providing professional development to all faculty members, Mitchell notes.

“Continuing faculty development includes helping to ensure that associate professors get good advice that helps them reach their full career goals, as well as helping promote the interests of faculty in such areas as spousal accommodation, selection for awards —including promoting faculty for national awards,” he says. In addition, it is expected that the office of the VPFA will continue to expand its role in training faculty who wish to become department chairs or assume other administrative posts at UB, he adds.

The search committee is seeking as candidates for the position senior faculty members — those holding current, tenured, full-professor faculty positions — with a strong record of teaching and scholarship/artistic activity, and a strong commitment to academic excellence and high academic standards. According to the job description, candidates should possess “an ability to articulate a vision for faculty affairs and the expertise to foster that vision through implementation” as well as “a demonstrated record of effective, innovative and collaborative leadership and management in higher education.” Candidates also must hold a doctorate or the requisite terminal degree for their area of study.

Those interested in the position may submit an application through UBJobs. The deadline for applications is July 9.

In addition to Mitchell, other members of the search committee are Ann Bisantz, professor and chair, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering; Sarah Bay-Cheng, professor, Department of Theatre and Dance; Greg Dimitriadis, professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy; Gabriela Popescu, professor, Department of Biochemistry; Barbara Rittner, associate professor and associate dean for advancement, School of Social Work; and Sean Sullivan, vice provost for academic planning, budget and evaluation.