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Iowa State Daily

Nominations for the next provost open, no search in place for DEI VP

Brittany Huston
Dr. Jonathan Wickert, Senior Vice President and Provost at Iowa State University introduces himself and speaks on his impact on the community at the State of Ames Meeting on Jan. 26, 2024.

The search has begun for the next senior vice president and provost, a role left open after Jonathan Wickert stepped down after 12 years, the longest in school history. 

A candidate nomination form is available, with a review of materials happening immediately. The form asks members of the Iowa State community to submit a recommendation of potential candidates with the nominee’s title and contact information. 

A national search has been launched, assisted by Parker Executive Search, an executive search consulting firm based in Atlanta, according to Inside Iowa State

The total amount billed to Iowa State from Parker is $142,000 for conducting the search and estimated related fees for advertising and travel.

According to the contract between Parker and Iowa State, Parker will advertise for the position, interview, check references, make travel arrangements for candidates, conduct background checks on finalists and more.

Iowa State remains responsible for setting minimum qualifications for the position, determining interviewees after reviewing recommendations from contractor, making the hiring decision, negotiating the salary and more.

The search committee will work with Parker to develop questions for interviewees, narrow down lists of candidates to a smaller group of finalists and conduct the first round of interviews with semifinalists.

The timeline for hiring includes finalists interviewing between the middle of April and early May, according to Inside Iowa State. 

The 18-person search committee is chaired by the College of Business Dean David Spalding, who also serves as the university vice president for economic development and industry relations. 

Members of the search committee include:

  • Jennifer Holliday, student body president 
  • Sarah Bennett-George, Faculty Senate president and teaching professor in apparel events and hospitality management
  • Toyia Younger, senior vice president of student affairs
  • Sophia Magill, senior adviser to the office of the president 
  • Charles Yier, librarian 

Wickert will return to full-time teaching as a faculty member in the department of mechanical engineering.

Other searches

The role of senior vice president for operations and finance is currently occupied on an interim basis by Heather Paris. Shawn Norman previously served in the position and left the university in December after starting in January 2023. Norman was paid a separation payment of $124,000. 

The search to fill the role Norman left will begin later in the spring, according to Inside Iowa State. 

According to Angie Hunt, media relations in the department of strategic relations and communications, there is no plan to begin the search to fill the role of vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion. 

The role was opened by the departure of Sharon Perry-Fantini, who left the university just over a month before the Board of Regents released and approved recommendations on how Iowa State addresses diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

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