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Volume 70, Issue 29, Friday, October 1, 2004


Staff Editorial


                            Matt Dulin                             Tony Hernandez 
                Jim Parsons             Dusti Rhodes           Richard Whitrock

Weighty task faces provost committee

Nearly six months after UH President Jay Gogue announced he would not be choosing a provost from the slate of six candidates who visited the campus, another committee has been formed to take on the task of finding UH's top academic officer.

In April, Gogue told The Daily Cougar he was looking for candidates who received support from 70 percent or more of respondents, which is critical for a provost, who interacts more than the president with the people on campus, especially faculty. 

As far as the Gogue era is concerned, picking the right provost will support the president's rapport with faculty, staff and students. If not, a provost's shortcomings could supplant the widespread favor the campus has for Gogue.

That puts a lot on the shoulders of Paul Chu, T.L.L. Temple Chair of Science and professor of physics, who will chair the search committee, and the 16 other members representing every aspect of the campus and the UH System.

Gogue charged the committee with identifying the candidates by January, a goal that could be as lofty as finding a "perfect fit." We hope that Gogue is clear about what he expects out of a provost and what he's looking for in a leader. The search will no doubt extend long into next semester, and we hope it is successful.

Meanwhile, Interim Provost Jerald Strickland is not a bad fit, though he has insisted against seeking a permanent post. He's already been closely involved in the University's strategic planning efforts and other projects; a new provost will have to play a lot of catch-up now.

All that aside, for a good provost, coming to UH is an excellent prospect. We're undergoing a lot of changes and more are on the way. For anyone who wants to make a difference, UH is the place to be. 

UH is a unique, if not challenging, higher education environment. Whoever gets the job will be tested. Let's hope the committee finds some good candidates.


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