Who are the Provost candidates?

Rumor down at the Faculty Club is that the list includes:

 Patrick Phillips (Biology)

Scott Pratt (Philosophy)

Dennis Galvan (International Studies)

Marcilynn Burke (Law)

Bill Harbaugh (Economics) -as confirmed by Hannah Kanik in the Emerald.

If you have a better rumor, or actual information, please post a comment.

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11 Responses to Who are the Provost candidates?

  1. There are lots of good reasons to keep internal searches closed, one of which is so good people who do not get the job don’t feel discouraged or embarrassed to apply for future positions.

    That’s assuming these people all actually applied (other than you). If the rumors are false, then you’re putting these folks in an even more awkward position.

    So, I’m asking earnestly: What do you see as the value of outing these folks? And does it outweigh the many costs of publishing names that might not be factual? This seems not to be a well thought out action.

    • uomatters says:

      You have the incentives wrong. Do we really want a provost whose fear of embarrassment is so extreme that they will only apply for the job in secret? Public information about applicants is a screening mechanism to drive off those who lack an important qualification for this tough job – a willingness to stick out their neck in public for what they believe in.

      • Like I said, there are many reasons for a closed search. Fear of embarrassment is just one. Sometimes people are in sensitive positions in their current job (and there can be many reasons for that, some of which are outside the control of the applicant), such that they might not want their supervisor or colleagues to know they’re applying for other positions.

        It sounds like you’re hoping that only people who have nothing to lose will apply, which I think is a perverse incentive.

        Also, it’s one thing for the institution to decide it wants an open search and announce the search as such from the outset. But it’s entirely another for the Senate President to unilaterally switch the search from closed to open after applications are in. Signaling, what, exactly? A place where the senate leadership will make capricious and arbitrary decisions about information sharing? What incentive does that provide?

    • Publius says:

      Some of these candidates have substantial track records at Oregon which should be the first concern in assessing their fitness for this position. The search committee is presumably soliciting information of this sort, I dont know how they will do it if they keep the candidates a secret. Why dont we start talking now about the fitness of these candidates–if any of them are not in fact candidates, they can just say so.

  2. Richard Bohloff says:

    It is said that the esteemed Harbaugh and Galvan are not on JH’s short list of preferred candidates. The former for general tomfoolery and the latter for reasons I wasn’t privy to.

  3. honest Uncle Gangsta says:

    Don’t underestimate Harbaugh.

    In the end, he could be the Donald Trump of this process!

  4. cdsinclair says:

    For an internal search, I think a public process is preferable to a secret one. Faculty (and students and administrators and staff) individually know different aspects of the candidates’ performance/priorities/etc. In order to fully vet the candidates, these issues should be debated and discussed broadly. Otherwise the committee will be hamstrung talking about the (undoubtedly glowing) materials submitted for consideration, and not the experiences of those on campus who have actually worked with the candidates.

    This said, I do understand the embarrassment factor. However, if you can’t stand up to public scrutiny in the application process, Johnson Hall is not the place for you.

    • Chris, you make a good argument about a public process being preferable to a secret one for internal searches. The time and place for that argument to be made was when the search committee was deciding whether to have an open or closed search. As you know, the senate leadership and other groups on campus had a chance to provide input about the search, including whether to make it open or closed, before the position opened.

      But in arguing the merits of search parameters I think we’re missing the headline news here: the senate president is actively undermining a decision to which he was part, and now the past-president is defending this process. As a senator and a faculty member, I’m dismayed at the facts that this is happening and that nobody seems to care about this level of dysfunction in leadership.

      • just different says:

        It takes two to dysfunction. Upper-level administration hasn’t exactly gone out of its way to earn trust for conducting a closed search. On the other hand, posting rumors about other candidates undermines Harbaugh’s seriousness as a candidate himself.

      • cdsinclair says:

        You might not like the tactic used, but it’s an important demonstration of the limitations of a president’s power. If you operate completely within the system, the president’s power is absolute. In the real world, not so much.

        Part of effective leadership is knowing when to step outside the system to enforce the moral imperative (in this case, transparency).

      • conflicted faculty says:

        Elliot, I think you can push your complaints about this blog post even further. The Senate president has a direct stake in the outcome of the search, because he is also a candidate. The way I see it he has a conflict of interest in disclosing the candidacy of his direct/potential competitors, even if he were completely and absolutely right in his motivations–which he isn’t, as reasonable people can argue that the list of candidates shouldn’t be disclosed at this stage.

        This is one more demonstration for why he isn’t a good candidate for Provost, and why his choice would be very divisive on this campus.

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