Interim provost to be named soon

Story by Alicia Steele Staff writer

President Bob Davies has decided on a new interim provost, who is to be named before Spring Break, after Tim Todd announced last week that he will leave the interim provost role and return to his post as College of Business dean.

Adrienne King, vice president of Marketing and Outreach, confirmed Davies’ decision to The Murray State News Wednesday.

King said she could not say who Davies’ choice is to replace Todd as interim provost and vice president of Academic Affairs.

Todd said in an email to  College of Business faculty it was his choice to return as dean.

“I am very happy to share with you that I will be coming home to the College effective April 1st,” Todd wrote.

Among the names Murray State faculty and staff are mentioning as potential internal candidates for interim provost are:

Renee Fister, a mathematics professor and former Faculty Regent who became the senior presidential advisor for strategic initiatives in 2014.

Renae Duncan, associate provost for undergraduate education.

Steve Cobb, dean of the College of Science, Technology, and Engineering.

Tony Brannon, dean of the Hudson School of Agriculture.

Robert Pervine, associate provost for graduate education and research.

“I’d like to see Renae Duncan get it,” said Bob Lochte, who is retiring as chairman of the department of journalism and mass communications.

Todd spent more than 10 months as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs after the former provost, Jay Morgan, accepted a job with the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education last May.

Todd’s request to return to the College of Business, where he has been dean since 2006, comes after the abrupt halt of the provost search last month.

King said Murray State suspended the search until Kentucky legislators determine the university’s state funding.

The provost search expenses this year cost $1,894 for job advertisements, according to documents The News obtained through an open records request.

However, the full provost search expenses from 2012-2013 totaled $10,947.50. This includes $5,507.50 for position advertisements, $2,759.67 for meals, $2,553.47 for travel expenses and $126.86 for “miscellaneous.”

Davies said in a statement he knew Todd’s decision to step down as interim provost was not an easy one.

“In our discussions, he has stated that he believes he can best assist the University by returning to this role, guiding the college and supporting University-wide efforts from this position,” Davies said in an email to Murray State’s faculty and staff. “I have great respect for Tim and support his wish to return to the deanship in the College of Business.”

Davies said he appreciates Todd’s willingness to lend his expertise throughout the last year, and said one of his many strengths is “providing collaborative leadership and working directly with the faculty, staff and students” in the College of Business.

Todd also said he learned a lot in the provost job.

“Being in the provost’s office for this academic year-to-date has given me new insight for what a great university we have,” Todd said.