The Provost, the second officer of the university, reports directly to the president and serves as the university’s chief executive officer in the absence of the president. As the chief operating officer of the university, the provost supervises the activities of the vice presidents and seeks their consensus in support of mutually developed plans. As chief academic officer, the provost carries broad responsibility for the university’s academic programs and ensures the fulfillment of the university’s academic goals. The provost holds both these to guarantee that all university activities contribute to the fulfillment of La Sierra’s academic mission.

Reporting to the provost are the vice presidents, the associate provost, the deans of the university’s college and schools, the director of the library, director of Institutional Research, the director of Information Technology, the director of the Sponsored Projects Administration, the director of the Career Services Center, the director of the Writing Center, and each person holding the rank of director within the aforementioned divisions.

What is a Provost?

The word provost (Middle English, from Old English profost and Old French provost, derived from Medieval Latin propositus as an alteration of the Old Latin praepositus one in charge, director, from past participle of praeponere to place at the head) dates from before 12th century. It was used “as the proper title of certain ecclesiastical and secular officers in England and Scotland.” (Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. provost.) The OED contains the following information about the word’s use in academic settings:

The specific title of the heads of certain educational colleges. In earlier instances, a survival from the ecclesiastical establishments in which these originated; in later instances an extension of the name to subsequent foundations. The title is borne by the heads of Oriel, Queen's, and Worcester Colleges at Oxford, King's College, Cambridge, and Trinity College, Dublin; also of Eton College, and now or formerly of certain other colleges in England, Scotland, the United States, etc.

 

The title Provost is used widely in American higher education with particular reference to the role of chief academic officer who also serves as the second officer of a college or university under the President.

At La Sierra University the title Provost is used for the person who occupies the dual role of chief operating officer and chief academic officer. The job description in the Faculty Handbook includes the following:

The provost is the second officer of the university, reports directly to the president, and serves as the university’s chief executive officer in the absence of the president. As the chief operating officer of the university, the provost supervises the activities of the vice presidents and seeks their consensus in support of mutually developed plans. As chief academic officer, the provost carries broad responsibility for the university’s academic programs and ensures the fulfillment of the university’s academic goals. The provost holds both the position of chief operating officer and the position of chief academic officer to guarantee that all university activities contribute to the fulfillment of La Sierra’s academic mission.

Reporting to the Provost office are the Vice Presidents, the Deans of the university’s schools, and directors within the Division of Academic Administration.