Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not specified
Nov 20, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Clark University seeks an accomplished scholar, dynamic leader, and energetic collaborator to serve as its next Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (Provost). Founded in 1887 as the first all-graduate institution in the country, today Clark provides graduate and professional education and promotes a distinctive, rigorous liberal arts undergraduate curriculum situated in the nexus of faculty and student research, much of which addresses challenges on a global scale.


After decades of careful fiscal stewardship—coupled with the commitment of an outstanding core of faculty and staff—Clark is now poised for a period of significant expansion under the leadership of President David Fithian. President Fithian, who assumed office on July 1, intends to advance the University’s prestige and standing in higher education through an ambitious strategy that prioritizes innovation, capitalizes on Clark’s academic excellence, enhances the University’s most distinctive attributes, and expands its resources. The next Provost will play a powerful role in developing and executing this vision. 


Located in Worcester, Massachusetts, Clark is home to approximately 2,350 undergraduate students and 1,150 graduate students. More than 27% of undergraduates identify as individuals of color, 15% as international students, 14% as first-generation college students, and 23% as Pell-eligible. Courses are delivered through the College of Arts and Sciences, at which students can choose from more than 30 majors and minors and 12 concentrations; the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, which offers doctorates in 9 fields and master’s degrees in several others; the School of Management and the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment, both of which offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees; and the School of Professional Studies, which is centered on programs for working professionals seeking to advance in their careers. In addition, Clark hosts a vibrant student life program, which is likely part of the reason The Princeton Review ranked Clark No. 18 in the country on its 2019 list of schools with the happiest students.


Clark has more than 200 full-time and approximately 150 part-time faculty, 97% of whom hold terminal degrees in their fields. The composition of the University’s faculty and staff reflect an ongoing commitment to diversity. Approximately 20% of individuals identify as coming from racially underrepresented groups, and approximately 60% of the University’s tenure-line faculty are women, which is far higher than the national average. Education at Clark is characterized by an emphasis on research. This emphasis stems from the commitment of faculty whose research and creative endeavors inform their teaching at every level, from offering new courses to undergraduates to mentoring doctoral students’ cutting-edge projects.


Clark’s students, faculty, and staff embrace the challenging work of implementing structural and procedural change to better reflect the University’s vision of a diverse and inclusive campus community. This is viewed as a shared responsibility. Clark students are respected and celebrated for their citizenry and activism, which have been steeled by current national and local outcries for racial justice. At Clark, the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion inform not just student engagement but also academic inquiry. Teaching and research at Clark have long explored issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, the construction of power, and hierarchies of exclusion. The Center for Gender, Race, and Area Studies (CGRAS) is an intellectual hub for initiatives and programming. In 2018, Clark received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. 


Reporting to President Fithian, the Provost is the chief academic officer of the University and serves as President Fithian’s clear second-in-charge. Working with the President and the other vice presidents, the Provost plays a central role in academic and financial planning for the institution. The Provost oversees all undergraduate and graduate academic programs as well as Student Affairs, Sponsored Research, the Office of the Registrar, and University libraries. Deans and center/unit directors who report directly to the Provost include Dean of the College, Dean of Faculty, Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, Dean of the School of Management, Dean of the School of Professional Studies, Director of the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment (IDCE), Dean of Students, Director of Athletics, University Registrar, University Librarian, and Director of the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise. 


The next Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs must be visionary, inspirational, and able to influence a wide range of constituents both on and off campus. The ideal candidate will be a respected and accomplished scholar with substantive university administrative experience, as well as a consensus builder who has a strong appreciation for shared governance. The next Provost must have a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and a deep understanding of the changing landscape of higher education, including experience with both undergraduate and graduate education. The successful candidate will be an exceptionally strong communicator and a highly skilled manager with experience in strategic planning and financial management, and an interest in fundraising. A Ph.D. is required.


Inquiries, nominations, and applications are invited. Interested candidates should submit confidentially, in electronic form (Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF files preferred), a curriculum vitae and letter of interest, ideally by January 4, to:


Jett Pihakis, Ph.D.

Consultant to the Search Committee

Russell Reynolds Associates

Higher Education Practice 


Clark University embraces equal opportunity as a core value and believes that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of its students, its employees, and its community. This commitment applies to every aspect of education, services, and employment policies and practices at Clark, and informs efforts in recruitment, hiring, and retention. All positions at Clark share in the responsibility for building a community that values diversity and the uniqueness of others by exhibiting integrity and respect in interacting with all members of the Clark community to create an atmosphere of fairness and belonging.