Reflections on a year as Interim Provost

By Ian D. C. Newbould

Every year seems to go faster than the previous ones, and this year is no exception.  Indeed it is difficult to believe that I arrived here at Mary Washington more than a year ago. My year’s activities were pretty much laid out for me by a “shopping list” of matters needing attention that had been put together by President Hurley and his administration, and further developed during the President’s Cabinet’s June retreat and the Board of Visitors July retreat.  I was guaranteed a busy year!

During this year, a number of changes were implemented, changes that in some cases produced anxiety and angst, but changes that I believe will serve Mary Washington well in the future.  As I reflect on my fifteen months as interim Provost, I consider myself fortunate to have been a member of the your community at the tail end of my university career.

A number of thoughts and impressions will remain with me.  Foremost is the academic strength of the student body and the faculty.  My visits to the individual departments were universally stimulating as I heard first-hand about the work in each program.  The faculty’s commitment to their students is exceptional.  Faculty research is to my mind of surprisingly good quality and quantity for an essentially undergraduate university that demands so much teaching time.

I believe too that the senior leadership team, led by President Hurley, is very strong.  Rick Hurley’s belief in this university and what it can achieve is infectious, and working with him has been a delight.  The university is fortunate to have the Vice-Presidents and Deans that is has, and that cannot be said of all institutions.  The university is in good hands.

As I prepare to leave at the end of June, I am confident that Dr. Jonathan Levin will be an outstanding Provost.  In addition to all of the normal activities that he will have, his leadership of the reallocation of resources exercise will be important.  I believe that he is up to the task.

Finally, I would like to thank John Morello for his support and assistance to me in ways far too numerous to count. His prodigious knowledge of the university and its history made my job easier.  He is truly one of kind, and I am grateful for his presence.

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