Wild planning to move university to “strong provost” structure

Tribune file photo.
Tribune file photo.

Interim University President the Rev. Robert Wild announced Tuesday in a letter to faculty and staff that Marquette will move toward a “strong provost” structure of governance.

A “strong provost” structure of governance primarily means that the provost serves as the chief academic officer and the second-ranking member of university administration.

This model will take the place of the shared governance model put in place during Wild’s presidency in 2007. According to the university’s Shared Governance Task Force proposal, a shared governance model promotes faculty participation and collaboration between faculty and administrators.

Wild explained in the letter that the strong provost model is the most common structure of governance in universities and will help extensively in finding candidates for the presidential and provost positions.

“We figure that most candidates for our presidency will be quite familiar with this structure of governance and that its adoption will make our open provost position that much more appealing to top level candidates,” he said in the email.

Wild said he and interim provost Margaret Callahan will begin to implement the “strong provost” model.

“This model also requires the provost to be the main decision maker regarding the university budget, including identifying budgetary priorities in the university budget, including identifying budgetary priorities in the academic areas, as well as fundraising priorities for Marquette,” Callahan said.

Brian Dorrington, senior director of university communication, said no details exist as to whether the interim provost will take the position of executive vice president, a position that was vacated earlier this month by Mary DiStanislao.

“Father Wild and Dr. Callahan will continue to work with senior leadership to map out the university’s future plans,” Dorrington said.

Wild also said in the letter that the university will continue its efforts to cut operating costs and implement strategic planning measures designed under former University President the Rev. Scott Pilarz. Wild also said the university will work to improve overall enrollment, specifically through transfer students and summer school operations.