Prof Harbaugh announces candidacy as “The Half-Price Provost”

5/14/2019 update:  I’ll be submitting my application tonight, and I’ll post it along with letters of recommendation. Thanks for your support.

 4/28/2019: Dear Colleagues –

I am writing to ask for your support for my candidacy as UO Provost. I’ll be submitting a full application per President Schill’s call, but my campaign platform is simple:

  1. I’m cheap. I’ll do the job for just $250,000 – half the going rate. And, since I drive a paid-off ’87 GMC Caballero, I’ll donate the $12,000 car stipend to SAIL for scholarships.
  2. I’ll keep Johnson Hall’s focus on core academic matters – not distractions like “research metrics”, faculty tracking software, Concur, and big-time sports.
  3. I think UO should tax Duck coaches salaries, not subsidize them. The tax revenue should go towards the university’s academic, cultural, and extension missions.
  4. I’m transparent. If I can’t make “Around the O” tell us what’s really happening at UO and show us where the money’s really going, I’ll keep blogging on UO Matters – but from the inside.

My only non-negotiable demand is two reserved parking spots, since my ride is a bit wider than the usual JH beemer or Prius.

Pres Schill to hold confidential internal search for new Provost

Dear University of Oregon campus community,

In the weeks since Provost Jayanth Banavar announced his intention to step down on July 1, I have personally consulted with dozens of faculty members and administrators on how to proceed in the coming months. In addition, I have engaged in dialogue with groups such as the Faculty Advisory Council, Senate Executive Committee, Deans Council, and Academic Council. I am grateful for all of the advice I received.

We are at a critical time as it relates to our academic mission, a time that requires robust leadership from a provost. This fall, we will open Tykeson Hall and need to ensure that the resources put towards student success bear fruit. Similarly, the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact is set to open next year and much needs to be done to hire faculty, create new programs, and develop meaningful and effective connections to our schools and colleges. Similarly, our nascent data science program needs support from the provost, both to hire faculty members in departments across the campus and ensure cross-disciplinary collaboration. In addition, the provost and the vice president for research and innovation are working with dozens of faculty members to fashion a campuswide academic initiative on resiliency and the environment. We will also begin searching for two new deans this fall (College of Arts and Sciences and College of Design), and having a permanent provost likely will be highly relevant to candidates.

Sustained leadership from the provost will also be required to successfully negotiate bargaining agreements with the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation and United Academics this summer and in fall. Finally, despite the fact that the recently announced budget reductions for most academic units were modest, some schools/colleges and the museums will need help in adapting to them.

Virtually all of the people and stakeholder groups I spoke with were concerned that a long, drawn out search for the provost commencing next fall would impede or slow our progress in moving each of these initiatives forward. The challenge of seeing these efforts through to timely completion would be exacerbated if we hired someone from outside our university, since a national search could take more than a year and then a new leader would require six months or more to get up to speed.

A secondary observation expressed by some was that, over the past four years, we have repeatedly hired academic administrators from other universities, and that the time is ripe to grow and promote academic talent from within. Finally, some mentioned that the substantial cost of an external search for the provost, which could exceed $200,000, seems out of place when we are cutting budgets, raising tuition, and considering workforce reductions.

While I have generally favored external, national searches in the past for top academic and administrative positions, I am convinced that we do not have the luxury of time, and need to act swiftly. I have decided to commence an internal search for a provost immediately, with a goal of identifying a new provost from among our own ranks by the time Provost Banavar steps down. I have asked incoming Senate President and Professor of Psychology Elizabeth Skowron and Professor of Geography Alec Murphy to co-chair the search committee. The committee will be comprised of members who hold a tenure-related or career-faculty appointment (TTF or NTTF) at the UO, with the exception of one member who will be an officer of administration selected from the provost’s portfolio. Over the next few days, we will consult with Senate leaders to recruit two senators to the committee.

This will be a confidential search, though we will provide multiple opportunities for finalists to be interviewed by a variety of campus constituencies. I will ask the search committee to provide me with a report on each finalist’s strengths and weaknesses, and after reviewing feedback from the community, I hope to announce a decision in mid-June. If it turns out that we are unsuccessful in this effort, we will begin a national search in the fall.

I would very much like to encourage anyone who is interested to consider throwing their hat in the ring. We will launch a search website shortly, which will feature the job description and qualifications. A letter of interest and CV should be submitted to no later than midnight on Tuesday, May 14, 2019.

I would like to thank everyone for giving me the benefit of their wisdom on how we should proceed with the provost search. And, I offer a special thanks to Elizabeth and Alec for taking on this responsibility.

Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law


Provost Jayanth Banavar promoted to Professor of Physics

See the official announcement below, to take effect July 1. Professor Banavar will become UO’s 31st most highly cited faculty member, according to the prestigious Google Scholar rankings. Not bad for a part-timer.

The pre-rumor from the faculty club’s opening session next Wednesday is that Pres Schill will need to find a philosopher-king willing to serve as his interim provost for next year, which will be busy with transparent searches – led by real search committees – for a new Provost, a new CAS Dean, a new CoD Dean, and my guess is at least a few other administrators, expected and unexpected.


April 3, 2019

Dear University of Oregon community:

I am writing to let you know that Jayanth Banavar will complete his service as provost and senior vice president as of July 1. In stepping back from his academic leadership position, Jayanth, a renowned physicist, will assume his appointment as a professor in the UO’s Department of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences. I am delighted that he will continue to be part of the UO community.

I want to thank Jayanth for his distinguished service as provost over the last two years. He has served in one of the most challenging executive roles at any university with great warmth, caring, and an unwavering focus on strengthening and building academic excellence at the UO. During his tenure, he has implemented major changes within the Office of the Provost to improve academic affairs, made impressive strides that bolster the UO’s academic foundation, and been a champion of diversity and inclusion. Among his numerous accomplishments, Jayanth solidified the use of a more transparent budget model for our schools and colleges and an innovative academic hiring plan that is strategically increasing our faculty ranks. He also advanced our coordinated effort to revolutionize student advising on campus, helped launch an ambitious interdisciplinary data science program, assisted in the revamping of our Clark Honors College, and recruited several deans and outstanding scholars, including Nobel Prize-winner David Wineland.

There is no doubt Jayanth has made an indelible and lasting positive impact on the UO during his tenure as provost. I personally appreciate his sense of humor, his ability to approach an issue both analytically and with empathy, and his constant dedication to doing what is best for the institution. I respect his decision to step down and am very grateful for his service to the UO.

Going forward, we will strive for a smooth transition that maintains all of the momentum and progress that Jayanth has delivered in the Office of the Provost. Over the next few weeks, I will consult with campus stakeholders and faculty leaders about selecting an interim provost and the process for filling the role permanently. The provost is the chief academic officer of the institution, and ensuring that we have effective leadership in the position is vital to achieving our shared academic goals and objectives.

Please join me again in thanking Jayanth for all he has done to serve the University of Oregon.

Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law


Provost search campus forum on Oct 10

Dear Colleagues,

As we embark on a search for our next provost and senior vice president, the Provost Search Committee is eager to hear from the campus community about the qualities and attributes you would like to see in our next provost.

My fellow committee members and I invite you to attend a public input session on the provost search from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. on Monday, October 10, in 123 Pacific Hall. We will discuss the process, review the proposed position description, and take your comments.

In the coming days and weeks, the committee will share additional information with campus, including the formal position description. We encourage you to share your nominations and ideas with us now. Please nominate those whom you believe would be strong candidates, whether or not you believe they are open to considering a new opportunity. Search firm Russell Reynolds Associates has been hired to help us aggressively recruit a strong pool of provost candidates, and they will assist the search committee in taking your nominations at Additional information about the search is posted on the Office of the President’s provost search webpage. 

If you have any questions or comments, now or at any time during the search process, please feel free to contact me or any member of the search committee. You may also submit comments to our dedicated search email,

The search committee is extremely excited about moving forward with this process. We encourage you to attend the public session and look forward to hearing from you throughout the search process.


Geri Richmond

Provost Search Committee chair, Presidential Chair in Science and professor of chemistry

Provost Search Committee named

Recent Provosts:

John Moseley
Linda Brady
Jim Bean (Interim)
Lorraine Davis (Interim)
Scott Coltrane
Frances Bronet (Interim)
Scott Coltrane (Interim)

Search Committee announcement:

Provost and Senior Vice President Search

The University of Oregon is embarking on a crucial leadership recruitment effort: the selection of a new Provost and Senior Vice President. As the chief academic officer of the institution, the new provost will lead the academic units, work with deans and department heads to shape our academic programs, and lead our efforts to retain and attract world-class faculty.

On August 19, 2016, President Schill named the following members of the Provost Search Committee:

  • Geraldine Richmond, search committee chair – Presidential Chair in Science and professor of chemistry
  • Yvette Alex–Assensoh – vice president for equity and inclusion
  • Bettina Cornwell – professor of marketing
  • Erica Daley – associate dean of finance and operations, School of Law
  • Andrew Dunn – undergraduate, ASUO external director of staff
  • Karen Guillemin – professor of biology
  • Dean Livelybrooks – senior instructor of physics
  • W. Andrew Marcus – dean, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Gabriela Martinez – associate professor of journalism and communications
  • Laura Lee McIntyre – professor of school psychology
  • Jamie Moffitt – vice president for finance and administration
  • Aaron Montoya – web communications specialist, College of Education
  • Paul Peppis – professor of English
  • Chris Sinclair – associate professor of mathematics
  • Eleanor Wakefield – graduate teaching fellow, English
  • Frances White – professor of anthropology
  • Keli Yerian – senior lecturer of linguistics

Provost candidate #3, Jorge Jose, VPR at IU

1/30/2014 update: Betsy Hammond of the Oregonian has some details, here. A more complete story here includes quotes from Conoley saying she had not sought the UO job, was approached by UO about applying, and made clear all along that she was interested in the Long Beach president’s job.

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#3 Jorge Jose statement and vita here (fixed). Public talk is Monday at 4:30 at the Art Museum. The schedule for his meetings with the usual JH suspects is here. JH has now removed the Jane Conoley info from their website, here’s a backup.

In other news, Coltrane will hold a public session on “academic planning” today at 3:00PM in Gerlingher. He’s posted a few docs here. Maybe he’ll tell us what our “clusters of excellence” and fundraising priorities are, and explain how Gottfredson picked them?

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UO to bring out 4 candidates for Provost

Most universities post the finalist’s names, cover letters and vitae online. UO typically opts to wait until the last minute. Still, at least we’ve got multiple finalists this time:

Dear Campus Community,

On behalf of the search committee, I am pleased to announce that we have selected four strong finalists who are scheduled for campus interviews for the position of Senior Vice President and Provost. Dates for these important interviews are:

Candidate #1: January 13–14
Candidate #2: January 21–22
Candidate #3: January 27–28
Candidate #4: February 3–4

Names, background materials, and interview schedules will be released to the campus community a few days prior to each candidate’s visit.


Alec Murphy, chair, Senior Vice President and Provost search committee