Search for provost and other executive positions underway

The search is on for candidates to permanently fill executive positions at Sonoma State University, starting with a new provost. Representatives of students, staff and faculty will take part in the selection of the candidates for these positions.

In an email sent last week to all students, faculty and staff, Sonoma State University President Judy K. Sakaki offered an update on the search for a permanent provost and vice president for academic affairs. When Sakaki became president of the university, she appointed candidates to the positions on an interim basis. 

“Most universities will have four senior-level administrators. We have five,” said Sakaki during a recent interview with the STAR. “After I was appointed in January, two of the five announced that they had promotional opportunities and were leaving, but they were staying one month after I started in order to help with the transition. One of those was the provost, which is a key position oversees all of the faculty and hiring.”

Sakaki also explained her options for choosing who would fill these positions. She could have chosen someone personally, or promoted a dean already working at Sonoma State, but instead she chose to complete a nationwide search, which takes the most time but provides the most options.

The search for the new provost is being led by Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jeri Echeverria, along with representatives from the faculty, staff, students and a dean. The email encourages the campus community to consider and recommend qualified candidates for the positions, including a link to submit names of candidates for consideration and contact information for the representative from the firm conducting the search.

“We have begun a search with the national search firm Isaacson Miller, who is going to help us. We have faculty and students who have been appointed to that committee, who are going to help us find our next provost,” said Sakaki.

The next position to be filled will be the vice president of advancement. The search for candidates is scheduled to start soon using a different search firm, the Aspen Leadership Group. After that search has been completed, the remaining positions will be filled.

“All vice president search committees will be comprised of at least 50 percent faculty members, with no more than eight members total,” said Nicolas Grizzle, news and information coordinator for Sonoma State University. According to an email update sent by Echeverria, the committee for the search for the new provost, of which she is chairperson, consists of eight members, four of them faculty, one of them a dean, and one of them a student.

However, the message does not include any information regarding when the search is expected to be completed.