Finalists in Provost Search Visit Campus

Trevor Smith, Reporter

Marshall University welcomed its five candidates for the position of provost to the university last week to introduce them to the school. 

The search for a new provost for the university started last July when Jamie Taylor stepped down to become the president at Lamar University in Texas. 

The remaining candidates are Avinandan Mukherjee, the dean of the Lewis College of Business at Marshall and current temporary provost filling in for Taylor; John Griffin, the senior associate provost at Clemson University in South Carolina; Ni “Phil” He, a professor of criminology and criminal justice and the vice provost of faculty diversity at Northeastern University; Phillip Bridgman, the provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Central Missouri; and Jacqueline Edmondson, the chancellor and chief academic officer at Penn State Greater Allegheny. 

While visiting the university, the candidates met students and spoke to them on ways they viewed the school and ideas they have for the future. 

He said that students are an inspiration to him, as he can understand the language barrier they may face like he sometimes does. “It’s such a pleasure to see all the students when they come in as freshmen and when they go out attending professional schools afterward,” He said. 

Griffin said that he is an advocate for students who think outside of the box and ask challenging questions that are not always asked. “That’s important because it creates students who are thinkers,” Griffin said. 

Bridgmon said that he wants campus leaders to know what is important to students, to be encouraging with shared governance. 

Mukherjee said that he envisions President Brad Smith bringing much innovative growth to the university. He also said that he likes the Marshall Promises campaign, with a return of around $12 for every $1 invested in the school for the state. “It is really encouraging that we have such a great economic footprint,” Mukherjee said. 

Later this month President Smith is expected to select a candidate to fill the open position.