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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Sander departs, Hay enters as provost”

    Eugene Sander and Provost Meredith Hay share a moment following Hays speech last night. Sander officially handed off the provost responsibilities to Hay in a Student Union Memorial Center ceremony.
    Eugene Sander and Provost Meredith Hay share a moment following Hay’s speech last night. Sander officially handed off the provost responsibilities to Hay in a Student Union Memorial Center ceremony.

    Eugene Sander and UA President Robert Shelton made a deal last year when Shelton asked Sander to take over provost duties at the UA.

    “”Now look here! We’re really going to get some things done,”” Sander said to Shelton. “”None of this interim stuff.””

    The moment defined Sander’s tenure as provost, a position responsible for overseeing all of the university’s academic programs and units.

    Holding the position for only a year, Sander set up relationships in the community crucial to the university’s growth as an academic institution, Shelton said.

    That tenure officially ended yesterday as another began. Sander passed the responsibilities of the Office of the Provost onto Meredith Hay in a tribute to Sander’s service and in a welcome to the new provost.

    Sander’s ability to make complex problems seem simple was perhaps his most valuable strength, Shelton said.

    “”Gene always says what he means,”” he said. “”And that’s what we need in this business.””

    When Sander became provost, a UA search committee immediately began looking for a permanent fixture to take over the position, Shelton said.

    Almost a year later in a snowy trip to Dallas, the committee knew it had a match in Hay, formerly the vice president for research at the University of Iowa, said Vicki Chandler, the committee’s chair and director of the BIO5 Institute.

    “”We needed someone with broad levels of education, a broad vision,”” Chandler said. “”We think we were fantastically successful.””

    A University of Colorado graduate with backgrounds in psychology, neurobiology and cardiovascular pharmacology, Hay’s wide range of expertise made her a perfect choice, Chandler said.

    With her vision and Shelton’s direction, Hay should transition seamlessly into the provost’s office, Chandler said.

    “”I am truly honored and humbled to have been selected to join this family,”” Hay said. “”We’re going to put our shoulders in the harness and get to work.””

    The university should have extreme confidence in Hay’s ability, since her selection was a product of Chandler’s search, said former UA President Peter Likins.

    “”People forget – Vicki Chandler came here because Gene brought her here,”” he said. “”These are great people and (Hay’s) going to do a superb job.””

    Although he still remains partially involved with the UA and the community, Likins distanced himself from the selection process to avoid any unnecessary influence on Shelton and the committee, Likins said.

    While Hay adjusts to her new job as provost, Sander will bring his outgoing personality and frank demeanor back to his previous position as dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Sander said.

    “”I have a lot invested in that college,”” he said. “”So I’m glad to be going back.””

    His time as provost forced Sander to branch out from his biological science background and consult with UA faculty and staff from previously unfamiliar areas.

    Sander had become accustomed to spending time with a close-knit group of people since coming to the College of Agriculture in 1987, and his outside experience as provost has given him a new outlook on academics, he said.

    “”It broadened me out as a human being,”” Sander said. “”I’m going to be able to think a little more outside of the box.””

    Although he looks fondly at his time as provost, the College of Agriculture is where Sander belongs.

    For him, there is no place like home, Sander said.

    “”You know, a part of me with always be in that Administration building,”” he said. “”But people ask if it feels good to be home. Yeah, it feels pretty good.””

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