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UNM names Richard Wood to serve as interim provost

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Richard Wood will take over interim provost duties at UNM. (Courtesy of UNM)

Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

University of New Mexico President Garnett Stokes has appointed an interim provost – and named the UNM faculty member leading the search for someone to fill the role permanently.

Stokes selected Richard Wood to serve as interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs following Chaouki Abdallah’s departure for Georgia Tech later this month. Wood is currently UNM’s senior vice provost. He also has experience in the office’s top position, having spent two months as interim provost earlier this year.

“Dr. Wood received many nominations to serve in the interim role, and I believe his experience will provide much needed continuity in Academic Affairs as we approach our HLC reaccreditation site visit and deal with multiple initiatives in the coming few months,” Stokes said in a written announcement to the campus Monday.

The Higher Learning Commission is set to visit UNM this spring as part of the university’s reaccreditation.

Stokes – who has said she aims to hire a permanent provost by the spring – has picked Barbara McCrady to chair the search committee. McCrady is a distinguished professor of psychology and former director of UNM’s Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Addictions.

Stokes on Monday also named Craig White, dean of UNM’s Anderson School of Management, to chair the search committee to replace David Harris. Harris – whose titles include executive vice president for administration, chief financial officer, and chief operating officer – is set to retire by year’s end.

Both searches will begin in early September and will involve a contract search firm, Stokes said.

It’s unclear what role the UNM Board of Regents will play on the search committees. Regents had been heavily involved in most of UNM’s recent high-profile searches.

Regent President Rob Doughty chaired the search committees for president, athletic director and chief legal counsel. Regent Vice President Marron Lee also served on each of those committees.

Stokes said she hasn’t determined exactly who the search committees will comprise, but noted that these positions are “members of the president’s leadership team,” unlike the legal counsel, who serves the president and the regents.

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