MSU begins process to fill provost/executive vice president vacancy

David Shaw, MSU vice president for research and economic development, is chair of the search committee for the university’s next provost and executive vice president. He addressed the Academic Department Heads Executive Committee today [Jan. 29] to ask their help in recruiting the “best possible candidates” for the post.


Contact: Harriet Laird

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A senior Mississippi State administrator is challenging the university’s academic leaders to “go out and help recruit the best possible candidates” for the vacant post of provost and executive vice president.

David Shaw, the university’s vice president for research and economic development, is chair of the search committee to replace Jerry Gilbert, who left late last year to accept the presidency of Marshall University in West Virginia.

At a Friday [Jan. 29] informational roundtable organized by the campus’ Academic Department Heads Executive Committee, Shaw urged his fellow administrators to “consider those stellar individuals who will be a good fit and will provide leadership in a team-oriented manner.”

In attendance were more than 50 representatives from departments throughout the land-grant institution that celebrates its 138th year late next month.

After the initial phase of identifying applicants is complete, Shaw said the process will move immediately to scheduling airport interviews. The group then expects to narrow the field to the three or four names that will be presented to MSU President Mark E. Keenum as a preferred list or preferred candidate emerges.

The process should be completed before the current spring semester concludes in early May, he said.

Search committee member Regina Hyatt, the university’s vice president for student affairs who attended the roundtable, told the group, “We’re committed to attracting the best candidates. We hope you all will use your networks to help us and make recommendations.”

Other search committee members can be found at The search firm is R. William Funk and Associates in Dallas, Texas.

Reporting directly to President Keenum, the provost and executive vice president serves as the chief academic officer for MSU and is responsible for all academic policies, integrity of the academic mission of MSU, and academic operations of the university.

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