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Delta State sets Provost Search timeline, appoints Search Committee

By August 17, 2007General

The timeline is admittedly “aggressive,” Delta State University President, Dr. John M. Hilpert acknowledges, as the University officially announced this morning both its search timeline and committee to find the next Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

“Our intended schedule calls for the appointment of a new Provost by Thanksgiving,” he continued. “The timing could change, of course, as the realities of the search unfold, but the determination to find the right person will not change.”

Dr. Phyllis Bunn, President of the Faculty Senate for the 2007-08 academic term and long-time College of Business professor, will chair the Search Committee. She will be joined in her work by:


  • Tracy Mims – College of Arts & Sciences
  • Dr. Rie Somlai – College of Arts & Sciences
  • Dr. Darry Hardy – College of Business
  • Dr. Jenetta Waddell – College of Education
  • Dr. Scott Hutchens – College of Education
  • Vicki Bingham – School of Nursing
  • Jeff Slagell – President’s Cabinet/Academic Council
  • Dr. Tyrone Jackson – Academic Support Staff
  • Deborah Brick – Student Government Association
  • Rori Herbison – Administrative Staff Council
  • Dr. Jackie Thigpen – Community
  • Greg Redlin – Ex-Officio (Staffing to the Committee)

The committee will hold its first meeting next week with advertisements for the position to be placed by Monday, Oct. 1. The committee will begin to review and narrow the candidate pool by Monday, Oct. 22. On-campus interviews are slated for Nov. 5 – Nov. 12, with the preferred candidate to receive an offer by Monday, Nov. 19.

“Our search will be broad-based and thorough,” Hilpert promised. “The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is a key position for the future of Delta State University. We exist, after all, as an academic enterprise, and we must have a leader in this area who can balance effectively issues of quality, development, responsiveness to external realities and advocacy for faculty concerns.”

The Provost position was originally left vacant in March 2007 with the resignation of Dr. John Thornell. After 30-plus years of service to Delta State, Thornell accepted a similar position in North Carolina.

Delta State’s Presidential Cabinet opted to postpone a search for Thornell’s replacement until the fall semester, reasoning, “If we were to begin the search process in March, our best case scenario would have been to have final candidates on campus in May or June. That timing would have made it difficult for many of the faculty and others in our organization to participate.”

In the interim, Dr. Billy C. Moore, Dean of the College Business, is serving as Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.