TCU Daily Skiff Thursday, February 12, 2004
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Search ends where it began: Donovan hired
The geology department chairman will attend a provost workshop at Harvard University to prepare for his new job.


By Jarod Daily
Staff Reporter


The university’s nationwide search for the next provost ended Wednesday after Nowell Donovan, the only in-house finalist, was named to the position.

Donovan, the geology department chairman, will start June 1. He will succeed current Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs William Koehler, who retires at the end of the year.

Donovan was one of three final candidates for the position, along with Florida International University chemistry professor Arthur Herriott and Michael Mezey, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at DePaul University.

Each candidate had a two-day interview session. Donovan’s session was the last of the three and was finished Thursday.

Donovan said he signed his contract around 2:30 p.m. and spent a couple of hours talking with the people who work in the provost’s office.

“What I want to do is involve all the people who will report to me in making their jobs as efficient as possible,” he said.

Donovan said to make the transition to provost he will be going to a provost workshop at Harvard University later on to learn about aspects of the position with which he is unfamiliar.

Koehler said he will be working with Donovan to help him learn how to be a provost.
“I’ll help him as much as I can to make the transition easier,” he said.

Boschini said deciding which candidate to appoint as provost was a difficult but important choice to make. He said he based his decision on feedback from the campus on each candidate’s interview session.

“Based on feedback from the campus, Dr. Donovan seemed to be who most people wanted as provost,” he said. “Also, he’s who I felt could do the job best.”

Boschini said he was trying to reach Herriott and Mezey.

“I feel that since they came down to the campus for the interviews, I owe it to them to talk to them in person,” he said.

Koehler said he is confident about having Donovan as his replacement.

“Dr. Donovan is a very bright man, a very quick study and he knows a lot about TCU,” he said.

Donovan said the most important part of being provost will be working with the budget.
“Making the budget really work for the university is really important,” he said. “All aspects of the university must be crisp and efficient.”

Although he will be unable to teach during the beginning of his time as provost, Donovan said he and Boschini have agreed he will teach a class when they decide the time is right.
“I think it’s important for me symbolically to be seen in the classroom,” he said.

Religion professor Nadia Lahutsky, who chaired the provost search committee, said she is relieved the bulk of her job as the head of the search committee is over.

“Now I can get back to my job as a religion professor and as the chair of the Faculty Senate,” she said.

Religion professor David Grant said there will be a learning curve for Donovan regarding the administrative aspects of being provost, but that he does not think it will be a major issue.

“He understands the strengths and weaknesses of TCU, and either of the other candidates would have had a learning curve in that area,” he said.

Lahutsky said she is glad to have been able to lead the search for a provost.

“I had a great committee, and got to know a lot of people better than I otherwise would have been able to,” she said.
Ty Halasz/Staff Photographer
Geology chairman Nowell Donovan was named the next provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs by Chancellor Victor Boschini Wednesday.
 
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