Ormsby continues as vice provost

By Kristie Hsin, Senior Reporter


The vice provost for undergraduate affairs position was reopened to candidates following the last search back in June, according to Provost Rex Fuller.

The position was posted Aug. 10 and the screening began Sept. 15. The position will remain open until further notice.

“The search committee will soon review and evaluate the depth of the current pool of applicants,” said Fuller in an email. “When committee members agree that the pool has sufficient depth, the position will be closed.”

Colin Ormsby currently serves as interim vice provost for undergraduate affairs.

According to him, five departments fall under his umbrella: undergraduate advising, Trio group, PLUSgroup, the transfer center and undergraduate studies.

He says these departments are under the vice president for undergraduate affairs because its centralized under one academic support and one person.

As stated online in the position’s posting, vice provost candidates are required to have administrative and faculty experience, the ability to implement programs and activities. Other requirements include experience working with diversity organizations and Ph.D or equivalent degrees. The primary focus of the position is on on student retention and leadership.

“This position requires a demonstrated vision of leadership, especially in terms of identifying barriers to student success and developing, initiating, monitoring, and assessing solution strategies. The vice provost will work closely with faculty, students and administrators throughout the Eastern community in this initiative,” Fuller said.

From June 13-18 last spring, three final candidates from the previous search participated in open forums during their visits to campus.

“That was pretty well-attended which I thought was pretty impressive given that it was the beginning of summer and people were here and there,” Chris Bakkum, one of the previous candidates, said.

Lynn Cherry and Larry Briggs were the other two candidates before the position was reopened.

“I really enjoyed my visit. … It’s a wonderful campus, wonderful students. The faculty and staff are great. I would have loved to have been part of that campus, but having not been selected the first time through it didn’t really seem necessary to resubmit my application,” Bakkum said.

During the visit, candidates met with directors and other positions that work directly with the vice provost. Candidates also met with President Arévalo and Fuller.

“Having re-evaluated the scope of the vice provost’s position, the search committee determined the need for a deeper pool of candidates,” Fuller said.

Bakkum currently serves as the University Registrar at the UW-La Crosse, has experiences in higher education that include enrollment management, curriculum development and academic advising. Bakkum has been a faculty member in the Department of Student Affairs Administration since 1999.

Cherry is the Associate Chair of the Department of Communication. She has worked as the associate dean of undergraduate studies and as the Director of the college’s Office of Undergraduate Academic Services.

The third candidate from June was Eastern’s Larry Briggs. He is the current associate vice president for Enrollment Services. Briggs has been with Eastern since 1995 and has more than 20 years of experience in higher education.

“All EWU faculty, students and staff who meet the finalists will have an opportunity to provide feedback about them,” said Fuller. “This feedback will be taken into consideration by the provost, the president and the search committee, which will provide its own additional feedback.”

Final decisions will be made by the provost with the approval of the president.

“I went to one of the open forums and it was nice to be part of that search process,” said junior Hale Leonard. “I feel that such a high position like [the vice provost] one requires a lot of collaborative communication between the faculty and students. So, I think it’s important that whoever is chosen for that position has those skills.”

According to Leonard, a candidate can look great on paper, sound great during an interview, but they may not always fit the needs of everyone involved.

“We would like to bring finalists to campus before the end of fall quarter. However, that timeline depends on variables such as the depth of the pool of current candidates and scheduling issues for the campus and the finalists,” Fuller said.