Since college officials did not finish the search for a permanent full-time provost last spring, a faculty member is serving as interim provost fall semester as the search continues.
President Janet Holmgren said she had hoped to make a permanent appointment for the provost and dean of faculty position by the end of last semester. Since time was short, she decided along with the Faculty Executive Committee to postpone the search.
College officials also decided to do an internal search, hiring a Mills faculty for the job. Former provost Susan Steele, who resigned last semester, after a year, was hired in a nationwide search. The search for a permanent provost will be completed by the end of this semester, according to Holmgren.
The interim provost, John Brabson, an associate professor of chemistry, said he would serve as provost for the fall semester and would not be a permanent candidate for the position. Brabson stated he wants to continue his work with students.
“I didn’t have the ambition to be provost,” Brabson said. “However, I knew it was a job that needed to be done. I will try to do the job the best that I can so that the office is in good shape and ready for the new provost.”
Holmgren said she invited Brabson to be interim provost because he had some administrative experience. He was acting provost four years ago during the spring and summer, a divisional dean and had been head of the department of chemistry.
“He [Brabson] is a real leader and puts his effort into it,” said chemistry professor John Vollmer. “I was very supportive of the choice.”
Brabson said that the attractive part of the provost position is that he has the opportunity to work with faculty and academic programs.
“There’s a certain importance to that task,” Brabson said.
As provost and dean of faculty, Brabson is responsible for staffing the curriculum, overseeing an $ 8 million instructional budget, coordinating the work of academic departments, meeting with students and academic divisional deans, coordinating the schedule of courses with the academic deans and department heads and corresponding with faculty committees.
“It’s an oversight and problem solving office,” Brabson said.
The provost and dean of faculty position had been without a permanent appointment between 1999 and 2001. History professor Bert Gordon served as acting provost during that time. Susan Steele served as provost during the 2001-2002 school year.