Search committee, timeline announced for selection of next provost

Committee will begin meeting in May

Search committee, timeline announced for selection of next provost

A search committee for the University’s next provost has officially been formed, University President Sylvia Burwell announced in an April 23 campus-wide memo.

The search committee, comprised of 19 members including administrators, faculty and staff, is one of three new steps in the search for a new provost, following the announcement that Provost Scott Bass will step down from the position in June.

Burwell said those steps include laying out the timeline for the search process, announcing the search committee and enlisting the services of Spencer Stuart, “one of the world’s top executive search consulting firms.”

The search committee includes Christine Chin and Jeff Rutenbeck, the deans of the School of International Service and the School of Communication, respectively, as the committee co-chairs. Other committee members include Fanta Aw, Vice President of Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence, Seth Grossman, Burwell’s chief of staff, and several faculty members. Chris White, a student in the JD/MBA program, is the lone student on the committee.

The search process will be aided by consulting firm Spencer Stuart, which has conducted presidential searches for institutions including Brown University, Yale University, Cornell University and AU.

“They were instrumental in our own presidential search here at American University, and I know they will provide valuable insight, guidance, and support through this process,” Burwell wrote in the memo.

Beginning in May, the search committee will hold regular meetings, Burwell added, with candidate interviews taking place in the fall 2018 semester.

There will also be opportunities for the campus community to give input, with an open forum for staff on May 1 from 3-4 p.m. in Constitution Hall, Rooms 2-3, and a meeting with the Faculty Senate on May 2. The committee will also host additional meetings with community members in September. Other comments or input can be sent to

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