Provost candidates visit NMSU

April 26, 2010 by Alexia Severson NMSU Round Up

The search for a vice president continues

Five finalists applying for the position of executive vice president and provost at New Mexico State University will visit campus this week.

The provost candidates are Kevin Bedell, of Boston College, Jim Coleman, of Rice University, Cameron Hackney, of West Virginia University, Wendy Wilkins, of the University of North Texas, and current NMSU Executive Vice President and Provost Jay Jordan, Provost Search Committee Chair Ramon Dominguez said.

“They have to have a search just to make it fair,” Jordan said. “By having these searches, there’s a chance to look at a larger range of people.”

Jordan was selected to be the temporary executive vice president and provost in January to fill former Executive Vice President and Provost a Cruzado’s place, after she left NMSU to take the position of president at Montana State University, Jordan said.

Jordan said NMSU policy mandates positions at the dean or equivalent level require a search to fill the position permanently and allow external applicants and interims to apply.

Dominguez said the five provost candidates were chosen through a very long and selective screening process that began in January in partnership with the consulting firm, Greenwood Asher.

Dominguez said throughout the week, each provost candidate will spend a day and a half on campus to attend interviews, meet with different departments around campus, conduct faculty and student forums, and tour Las Cruces.

“It’s a full package in terms of the candidate knowing about us and us knowing about the candidate,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez said it will be an extensive process, but there also is an enthusiasm and interest in what the candidates will be able to offer for the university.

Jordan, who is scheduled for an interview and open forum on Wednesday, said he does not think he has an advantage over the other candidates.

“They may not like how I am doing, so it could be a disadvantage,” Jordan said.

Jordan said he is honored to be chosen as one of the provost candidates, but if he is not selected as the permanent executive vice president, he will return to his former position as the associate vice president for research and director of the physical science laboratory at NMSU.

Dominguez said it is important for students to be involved in the decision-making process, because the candidate selected will be a chief academic officer, which means he or she will have an impact on programs, courses, development, assessment and ultimately, students.

Dominguez said each candidate will conduct a faculty forum, as well as a forum open to students.

“We’re hoping that students attend, and send in comments,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez said students can either send their comments directly to NMSU President Barbara Couture, or fill out a form provided at the forum.

Dominguez said Associated Students of NMSU President Travis Dulany also will be present at the forums, representing the student body.

The decision should be made by June, Dominguez said, and once the selection is made it will be posted on the NMSU Web site.

Dominguez said students can find out more about each candidate, along with faculty and student forum schedules at

Alexia Severson is a staff writer and can be contacted at

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