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MU names Jim Spain as interim provost

UPDATE: The University of Missouri named Jim Spain as interim provost Thursday. Spain is the vice provost for undergraduate studies. He said he will not be putting his name in the running for the permanent position and said he is “humbled and honored” to be serving in the interim role.

“If we do our job right in the next six to eight months it will be a really really attractive job that will provide the right person a really exciting opportunity when they get here,” Spain told ABC 17 News of the search for the permanent provost.

ORIGINAL: An interim provost at Mizzou will be named by the end of the day Friday.

Yesterday, MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright announced the members of the search committee that will help select the next provost and executive vice chancellor for MU.

Dr. Garnett Stokes had served as Mizzou’s provost. She has accepted a position as president of the University of New Mexico. Her last day at the university is January 31.

Cartwright said the search will be completed by May 2018, and finalists will be interviewed on campus in late April/early May 2018.

Joi Moore, professor and director of the School of Information & Science Learning Technologies, and Marshall Stewart, vice chancellor for Extension and Engagement, will co-chair the committee. Cartwright said they will identify candidates and carry out the open search process.

The university has also hired search firm Isaacson Miller. That’s the same firm used in the both the UM System president and the MU chancellor search.

At the UM Board of Curators’ meeting earlier this month, UM System President Mun Choi said the interim provost will have to help make decisions about the future of some academic programs.

“[Cartwright’s] trying to identify a person who has [a] very strong and academic research record, an individual who can make the difficult decisions that can support the reallocation of resources that we need to grow the academic enterprise,” Choi said.

As ABC 17 News has previously reported, an MU task force is currently evaluating every academic program. Their final report is due to the provost’s office on Jan. 15.

University leaders have said they will begin making decisions on program investments, consolidation, and cuts in the spring.

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