Editorial: Provosts matter, here’s why.


Photo credit: Storm Wells

Gabriela Carballo

When the senior class walks across the stage in the spring, they will have seen four provosts in four years.

The fourth person to fill the position is currently being chosen. Loyola is in the process of finding the next man or woman who will become first mate to Tetlow’s captain. The provost — or the chief academic officer — is second-in-command and responsible for all classroom dealings, a rather important responsibility.

So how do we make sure this one stays?

It’s no secret the university has gone through some major changes in the past few years. We’ve found a new president, completed a new fundraising campaign, and improved class size and retention. We have taken the necessary steps to right the ship. Finding a qualified and committed provost seems like the final piece of the puzzle.

But over the past four years, it has felt as though there was a revolving door of people in the university’s No. 2 position.

For many students on campus, when they hear the word “provost,” a giant question mark might pop into their heads. Many of you probably don’t even know the position exists or, if you do, don’t know its purpose.

The provost is also known as the senior vice president for academic affairs. This means they are in charge of classes and class offerings. Basically, if it happens in the classroom it’s because the provost says so.

Whoever is selected as the new provost will help shape the future of academics here at Loyola for years to come.

As we finish up registration, it’s a greater reminder than ever that classes and class offerings can be a source of stress and concern for students. We are at the complete mercy of the university when it comes to the classes we can and cannot take.

If students knew the power of this position and how this new provost will directly affect them, they would most likely be more interested in being active in the selection process.

If you care about the academics of the university, you should care about this position. The Provost Search Committee is hosting the three final candidates on campus. The first happened yesterday. There are two left. This is your opportunity to affect positive change on this campus.

But, the effort mustn’t come from students alone. Our new provost has to be open to communication, as well as communication that leads to actual change.

To the next provost, we have a few requests for you.

Many of us don’t even know who the current provost is. Students don’t care about this process because they don’t know its importance. We hope the next provost will make themselves known on campus. We want to recognize you. We want to feel like you are an integral part of our community.

When students have legitimate concerns, we want someone that will actively, and actually, listen and respond.

Previous provosts have come and gone. We want someone who is going to stick around for a while.

Finally, we want someone who wants the job. We students here at Loyola are here because we love it. We want to be here and Loyola deserves a provost that wants the same.

Though we have our criticisms, this school is special to all of us and we want to see it grow to its fullest potential. And the next step to reaching that fullest potential is finding the right provost of the university.