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Provost Search Process

November 5, 2020

I am pleased to provide an update on the provost search process. We have launched our search by hiring the esteemed firm of Storbeck Pimentel to assist us with this important effort. The senior member of their higher education practice group, Alberto Pimentel, has been assigned to manage this particular search. A position description is being prepared, advertisements are being created, and applications and nominations will soon be received by the firm on our behalf. We are on schedule to conclude this search in the spring months of 2021. The administrative details are proceeding nicely and the very important work of the Search Committee is about to begin.

The provost serves as chief academic officer for the University and also as a senior member of administrative leadership. It is important to examine the skills of applicants in both leadership categories. We hope to do so through a merged, seamless process of review involving the Pepperdine community. As I've announced previously, the composition of the Search Committee is as follows:


  • April Marshall, Professor of Hispanic Studies, International Studies and Languages Division, Seaver College
  • Tim Perrin, Senior Vice President for Strategic Implementation

Committee Members:

  • Sharon Beard, Associate Dean of Students, Office of Community Standards
  • Lila Carlsen, Associate Provost and Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies, International Studies and Languages Division, Seaver College
  • Kristy Collins, Dean of Enrollment Management, Seaver College and Associate Provost, University Financial Assistance
  • Danny DeWalt, Vice President and Chief of Staff
  • Dyron Daughrity, Professor of Religion, Religion and Philosophy Division, Seaver College
  • Michael Feltner, Dean, Seaver College
  • Sara Jackson, Chancellor
  • Connie James, Professor of Management, Business Administration Division, Seaver College
  • Hung Le, Associate Vice President and University Registrar, Office of the Registrar
  • Ted McAllister, Edward L. Gaylord Chair, Professor, School of Public Policy
  • Bob McQuaid, Associate Professor of Information Systems Technology Management, Pepperdine Graziadio Business School
  • Dan Rodriguez, Divisional Dean of Religion and Philosophy, Professor of Religion and Hispanic Studies, Seaver College
  • Shelley Saxer, Laure Sudreau Endowed Professor of Law, Caruso School of Law
  • June Schmieder, Faculty, Program Director PhD Programs, Education Division, Graduate School of Education and Psychology

I am deeply grateful for each member's willingness to serve. After consulting with the Search Committee at its first meeting in mid-November, I hope to fashion a means by which the larger University community can meet the finalists for the position and share their observations with the Search Committee. In addition, I know that the Committee intends to schedule listening sessions over the next few weeks to gather input on this position throughout the university. Finally, I will be responsible for this University decision, but I hope to have the advice and counsel of many throughout the process and especially the sixteen-person Provost Search Committee.

I expect the Search Committee to begin reviewing applicant files as early as December and to invite a select number of candidates to meet with the Search Committee, in person or via video teleconference, in February. After that, the community will engage deeply with up to five finalists. I expect the search process to conclude by April. We will do everything we can to stay on schedule. Additional information about the timeline for the search will be shared by the Search Committee.

I am confident that this search will attract many fine candidates. We will treat each with the confidentiality and respect that each one of us would want. Therefore, while we will provide periodic updates, we may not be free to share every element of the search along the way.

Finally, while I intend to rely heavily on the Search Committee and its leadership in pursuit of finalists, we will establish a vehicle for all to communicate views, hopes, and aspirations for the next provost.

We will create a Provost Search website and share the link with you in the coming weeks and we will update it as new information is available throughout the search. Thanks for your support and, indeed, your prayers as we conduct this important search.