Candidate for provost and vice president of Academic Affairs withdraws application

Natasha Breu

The first candidate for university provost withdrew his application for the position, according to the search committee.

Larry Snyder, dean of Potter College of Arts and Letters and one of the search committee co-chairs, said Jeffery Osgood withdrew his application last week. He said the search firm received the request late in the week.

“No reasons for the decision were provided to the committee,” Snyder said.

Osgood, a WKU alumnus and current vice provost of West Chester University in Pennsylvania, was the first provost candidate to come speak at WKU. He detailed his plans for diversity and inclusion, molding a student-centered institution and a strong liberal arts foundation, according to his presentation.

Osgood was the only one out of the three final candidates to have graduated from WKU. He received his master’s in public administration from WKU in 2006.

Osgood was contacted but did not respond.

The other two provost candidates, Keith Hargrove and Terry Ballman, still remain eligible for the position. Hargrove is currently the dean of the College of Engineering at Tennessee State University and has held the position since June 2009. Ballman has been the dean of the College of Arts and Letters at California State University in San Bernardino since 2013.

Of the three candidates, Osgood had spent the least amount of time working in higher education.

All three candidates visited WKU two weeks ago. During their visit, they met with WKU administrators, faculty and students and spoke at open forums.

“This is obviously a very important appointment for the university, and we are confident that the process will result in the appointment of a new provost soon,” Snyder said.

The provost and vice president of Academic Affairs reports to the university president and is the chief academic officer of WKU, according to the job description. The division of Academic Affairs oversees six academic colleges and the graduate school. After June 30, University College will close, leaving just five academic colleges.

Academic Affairs also houses the Mahurin Honors College, the Gatton Academy of Math and Science, the Kentucky Museum, the Chinese Language Flagship, the Forensics Program, the Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex, the Center for Gifted Studies and Student Publications, among others.

The three were candidates to replace David Lee, the current provost and vice president of academic affairs. Lee has served in the position since fall 2015 when then-Provost Gordon Emslie stepped down to return to teaching.

When he steps down, Lee will become WKU’s first university historian.

News reporter Natasha Breu can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected]