Ramapo allocates thousands to search for new provost

By SCOTT YUNKER
On October 11, 2017

Photo by Michael Pacheco

Up to $150,000 has been allocated by the Ramapo College Board of Trustees for use in the school’s national search for a new provost. The current provost, Beth Barnett, recently announced her decision to resign after holding the position since 2006.

The Board announced its resolution to allocate funds to the search in a schoolwide email released on Sept. 27, although the amount dedicated to the search was not disclosed in the same email.

Chief of Staff and Board Liaison Brittany A. Goldstein responded in an email following a request for information made by the Ramapo News. According to Goldstein, “The Board resolution authorized the College to engage professional services (i.e. a search firm) to assist with a national search for a new Provost.”

“The funds are not to exceed $150k and are being drawn from the College’s operating account,” Goldstein continued in her email.

In an online post published on Oct. 2, President Mercer stated the College intends “to have a new Provost in place by July 1, 2018.”

Barnett stated she will remain provost until June 30, 2018, in an email response to the Ramapo News.

“In academic administration, it is customary to give one year’s notice of your intent to leave your position. This allows the College time to plan and implement a national search for the successor,” Barnett wrote, “And to find the best candidate for the job.”

Barnett and the Office of the President were both approached for comment on the circumstances surrounding Barnett’s decision to leave her position. At the time of writing, neither had responded.

syunker@ramapo.edu

UPDATE - October 12, 2017

President Mercer commented on Barnett's announced departure in an email Thursday, stating the following:

"Provost Barnett joined Ramapo College 12 years ago. Over the years, she has provided leadership, stability, and invaluable counsel to the College. 
 
Among some of the academic achievements during her tenure are the establishment of an internationalization plan, the design and implementation of the Honors Program, securing accreditation by the AACSB, the promulgation of holistic student engagement programming, growth in several undergraduate academic programs and the hiring of new faculty therein, and the blossoming of our graduate degree offerings. None of these achievements occurred in isolation and all of them were peppered with challenge. However, over a decade in which the scrutiny of public higher education and the liberal arts dramatically intensified, Provost Barnett approached the work of the College with consummate poise, expertise, laser focus, and good will. 
 
I have considered it a privilege to work alongside her for this long and the College is a stronger and more dynamic institution thanks to her leadership."

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