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Provost search committee has final meeting to discuss candidates for FAMU’s permanent Provost

By Angelique Beckford | Staff Reporter
On September 23, 2018

Current FAMU Interim Provost Rodner Wright
Photo Cred: FAMU Office of the Provost

Florida A&M University’s President Larry Robinson announced in late July that a search was underway for a permanent provost.

Rodner Wright, dean of the School of Architecture and Engineering Technology since 1996, has been serving as interim provost for the past two years.

The seven-member provost search committee – chaired by Valencia E. Matthews, dean of the College of Social Sciences, Art and Humanities, had a meeting regarding the interviews involving the search for the new provost Tuesday, Sept. 18.

In early August, Robinson said, “Our ongoing efforts to fill key university positions are focused on ensuring that FAMU is successful in executing its strategic plan, fulfilling its mission and exceeding state and national standards.”

The interviews for the candidates were held 10 days ago, according to Valencia Matthews. Six applicants from a pool of 16 candidates applying for provost—the No. 2 leadership position on campus—were reviewed, along with critiques made by FAMU constituents on the candidate interview sheet.

“I think it’s a strong pool,” Matthews said following Monday’s meeting, “I feel good about it. I look forward to moving the process forward.”

“The members in charge of the committee were to review all the applicants based on the criteria that was set for the initial job description,” said Committee Chairmen Dr. Darius Young.

“We were able to narrow it down to the final six candidates to recommend to Dr. Robinson,” said Young.

President Robinson will now decide who best qualifies for the renowned provost position between the six candidates.

The vetting for the candidates was a very thorough process, and the committee was able to allow the continuant groups of the university to hear each candidates.

“Based off of the feedback we received from the constituents, those three candidates were the best fit,” said Young, “The president should be proud with our selections and hopefully a decision will be being made very soon.”

Junior nursing major Akhile Odikpa, a constituent who was present during the interviews, mentioned how impressive the candidates were and expressed her desire that “our new provost has the utmost knowledge about HBCU culture and history.”

The search committee for the provost has met five times in room 101 of Tucker Hall at 5 p.m.  They will longer be meeting, however, due to the release of the six approved finalist.

The final candidates are:

  • Andy JU AN Wang, dean and professor, College of Applied Sciences and Arts, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
  • Edington was one of two FAMU administrators seeking the position.
  • Carl Goodman, associate provost for undergraduate education and student success, also applied. He was not among the finalists.
  • Vann R. Newkirk, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, Elizabeth City State University
  • Lawrence T. Potter Jr., dean and professor, College of Arts and Sciences, University of LaVerne, LaVerne, California
  • Darrel Radson, professor and dean (2012-2018), Foster College of Business, Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois.

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