SVP for Academic Affairs and Provost Search Advisory Committee Established

Nov. 14, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to share that a Search Advisory Committee has been formed and is beginning its work to identify and recommend exceptional candidates for consideration to serve as the University of Arizona’s next Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

The 19-person committee, co-chaired by Alain-Philippe Durand, Dean, College of Humanities, and Joellen Russell, Department Head and Distinguished Professor, Geosciences, comprises an impressive roster of faculty, staff, and students representing a broad array of colleges, disciplines, and perspectives. Over the next several months, the group will consider and interview highly qualified candidates as it collaborates to present a slate of finalists for meetings with shared governance entities and public forum presentations during the spring semester, in advance of my final consideration and ultimate sole finalist selection by the start of the next academic year.

I would like to reiterate my appreciation for the ongoing leadership of Ron Marx, Interim Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, who continues to serve the University admirably while demonstrating his unique expertise as a highly experienced faculty member and dean emeritus. Provost Marx has agreed to remain in the interim executive role through the current academic year.

Assisting the Search Advisory Committee in its important work will be SP&A Executive Search, a well-known woman- and minority-owned firm that specializes in higher education. The SP&A team will be led by Alberto Pimentel, the firm’s co-founder and managing partner of its West Coast practice, who has led hundreds of successful academic and administrative searches across non-profit organizations and colleges and universities, including the University of Arizona. SP&A Executive Search professionals collectively have conducted more than 2,200 senior administrative-level searches for its higher education clients.

Please join me in thanking members of the SVP for Academic Affairs and Provost Search Advisory Committee for serving in this important capacity and for representing their many colleagues and peers in the committee’s work over the next several months. I am confident the committee’s efforts will bring forth a strong slate of candidates and yield an extraordinary Provost to help guide the University of Arizona’s academic enterprise for years to come.


Robert C. Robbins, M.D.


The University of Arizona

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