Provost and Executive Vice President

University of Montana
Missoula, Montana

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Executive Administration Jobs
Provosts, Vice Presidents
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
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The University of Montana-Missoula (UM), a flagship public doctoral research institution, invites nominations and applications for the position of Provost and Executive Vice President (PEVP) from interested individuals with diverse perspectives and backgrounds.

A research intensive, associate through doctoral degree-granting institution, UM is committed to a mission of access and inclusive prosperity because we believe the greatest economic leveler is education; democracy and the future of the Republic rely on system thinkers who are broadly educated and specifically skilled; and diversity in thought, background, appearance and beliefs make Montana and the world stronger. Ranked sixth nationwide for research growth, UM’s research expenditures nearly doubled between 2014 and 2019 and continue to grow. In 2020, research expenditures totaled $100 million for the first time in the institution’s history and are expected to reach $125 million this fiscal year. This strong research program includes ample opportunities for undergraduate participation. Additionally, in 2020, experts identified UM as a Top 10 global university for solving the COVID-19 pandemic.

UM is deeply committed to student success, with a long tradition of teaching excellence and experiential learning. The University is ranked fifth among public universities in producing Rhodes Scholars, currently has its highest graduate enrollment in history, and in the fall of 2021 welcomed the largest incoming freshman class in several years. Summer enrollment has grown by 40% in recent years, as has the percentage of out of state applicants, and UM’s student retention rate also continues to rise. Those students have access to a diverse and growing set of work-based and experiential learning opportunities, as part of a strong institutional commitment to creating the best possible set of post- graduate outcomes. UM is also investing substantially in the on-campus experience: the physical campus is undergoing a revitalization with over $100 million being spent to update a broad range of facilities.

UM is an essential part of Missoula: a culturally vibrant college town characterized by scenic beauty, a socially engaged community and a healthy economy. Our commitment to place-based, applied experiences ensures our students reap the benefits of a large flagship institution in a setting that feels intimate. This setting attracts talents and shapes the University of Montana community, where arts, culture and academics influence the great minds of tomorrow. With a deep focus on experiential learning, we believe some of the best classrooms are not classrooms. Here, experiential learning happens not only in the outdoors but also in community and social settings. UM also views itself as part of a global community, and thus actively recruits and enrolls students from all over the world, as well as provides a range of opportunities for students to study and learn abroad.

Position Description

Reporting directly to the President and serving as UM’s Chief Executive Officer in the absence of the President, the PEVP provides intellectual leadership to the campus and works closely with the President in providing strategic long-term direction for the University. As Chief Academic Officer, the PEVP maintains a robust academic and co-curricular portfolio and leads efforts to adapt that portfolio in ways that draw upon UM’s strengths while responding to students’ and society’s needs. This person is a vital, trusted partner to the President, a thoughtful collaborator across campus, and a strong visionary for UM’s continued impact. The PEVP works with the vice provosts, deans, and academic directors to promote academic excellence and integrity and to enhance the stature of UM nationally and globally.

The PEVP, in consultation with the President, has final campus authority over new academic programs, centers, and institutes before they are submitted to the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education (OCHE) for review and approval by the Board of Regents. The PEVP acts as the key liaison between UM and OCHE’s Deputy Commissioner for Academic, Research, and Student Affairs for all matters related to Montana University System initiatives, academic policy adherence, program planning and approval. The PEVP also leads academic collaboration within the state-wide affiliation, comprised of the University of Montana-Missoula, Helena College UM, The University of Montana Western in Dillon, and Montana Technological University in Butte.

The PEVP works closely with the Vice President for Operations and Finance on budget planning, fiscal accountability, and policy development; with the Vice President for Research and Creative Scholarship to advance the University’s research agenda, including oversight of graduate academic programs; with the Vice President for Marketing and Communications to increase positive public sentiment around and awareness of the benefits of a UM education; with the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management to ensure strategic enrollment planning; with the Associate Vice Provost for Student Success to increase student retention and engagement; and with the President and CEO of the UM Foundation to foster a culture of philanthropy at the University. The PEVP additionally works respectfully and in collaboration with members of UM’s shared governance and unions to strengthen academic operations on campus for UM students, staff and faculty.


The Provost and Executive Vice President’s responsibilities include:

  • Leadership of the development and implementation of UM’s academic vision, planning and assessment efforts
  • Approval of all academic appointments, promotions, tenure and leaves
  • Leadership of academic coordination with the state-wide University of Montana affiliation
  • Oversight of the Vice Provosts; the Academic Deans of the Colleges and Schools; the Dean of the Mansfield Library; the Directors of a number of academic centers, institutes and offices; the Registrar; and the employees in Academic Affairs and Student Success
  • Extensive interaction on behalf of the University of Montana-Missoula with the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
  • Administrative oversight, as delegated by the President, of diversity initiatives, assessment, institutional accreditation, shared governance relations, faculty union relations, and other key activities, such as international education and experiential learning and career success and employee professional development
  • Representation of UM within regional and national academic organizations
  • Dynamic and respectful communication and collaboration with campus constituencies and the broader Montana community, including alumni, business leaders and legislators

Required Experience and Minimum Qualifications

  • An earned doctorate or equivalent terminal degree from a regionally accredited university
  • Passion for and commitment to the ideals of public higher education (including faculty development, student success and international education), an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to interdisciplinary research and education
  • Demonstrated commitment to principles of diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Demonstrated academic leadership, including broad experience and strength in budget management of complex organizations, program development, strategic planning, assessment, accreditation and personnel management
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate and work effectively with individuals and groups in all sectors of the University and external to the University
  • Distinguished record of teaching, scholarly accomplishments in research and/or creative activity
  • An understanding and appreciation of the broad spectrum of UM’s academic programs and research, including the liberal arts and sciences, graduate and professional schools, online offerings, and integrated, comprehensive two-year colleges

Preferred Qualifications

  • A leadership style that brings vision, passion and purpose to the University’s institutional mission, values and culture
  • A management style that is approachable, energetic and willing to involve stakeholders in the decision-making process
  • Extensive experience in generating and managing extramural funding for both academic programs and research through a variety of awards, including private fundraising

Applications and Nominations

Applications and nominations must be sent electronically (MS Word or PDF Format) to [email protected]. For best consideration, applications should be received by October 10, 2021, and must include:

  • A letter of interest addressing the qualifications described and including your vision for the role of the Provost of the University of Montana over the next five years (not more than three pages)
  • A curriculum vitae
  • Names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses for five (5) professional references who will be contacted only after candidates are notified

Search Committee chair Dr. Alan Townsend welcomes contact at [email protected]. The search is being assisted by Rod McDavis, Managing Principal, and James McCormick and Janice Fitzgerald, Executive Search Consultants, AGB Search, at [email protected], 804-514-1982; [email protected], 651-238-5188; and [email protected], 717-580-0663.

For more information about this search, go to


The University of Montana is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. This position is eligible for veterans' preference and disability preference in accordance with Montana State Law.

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