Columbus State University’s search for its first provost ‑- or chief academic officer -- has been narrowed down to three candidates, the university announced Thursday.
The three finalists are Cathy L. Barlow, dean of the Watson School of Education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington; Catherine A. Riordan, vice provost at Central Michigan University; and Inessa Levi, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Western Illinois University.
All three are scheduled to be at CSU next week for the next phase of the interview process. Barlow will be on campus Monday; Riordan Wednesday; and Levi on Thursday.
The three leading candidates emerged from an applicant pool of more than 50 educators. David Rock, dean of CSU’s College of Education, was chairman of the search committee.
“We’re very excited about the caliber of the candidates who applied for this position,” Rock said in a prepared statement. “Each candidate has experience with dynamic institutions that are on the rise in the higher education community.”
CSU hopes to have a new provost on campus by July 1.
The job will have broad responsibility for the overall excellence and vitality of the university’s academic life and programs, according to the news release. Academic Affairs units, which includes academic colleges and offices currently structured as Arts & Letters, the D. Abbott Turner College of Business, Education, Science, University College, CSU Libraries, grants & contracts and other academic support functions will under the provost’s leadership.
The following are brief biographical sketches provided by CSU on each candidate:
•Barlow earned her doctorate in leadership/administration from the University of Tulsa, her master’s in special education from Ball State University and her bachelor’s in psychology and education from Milligan College in Tennessee. She has been dean at UNC Wilmington since 2000. Previously, she was a department chair and interim dean at Morehead State University, and dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences at the University of Evansville. Prior to moving into higher education administration in 1991, she held several administrative positions in public schools, including assistant principal, director and associate superintendent.
•Riordan earned her doctorate in social psychology from the State University of New York at Albany and her bachelor’s in social welfare from Eastern Michigan University. She has been at Central Michigan since 2000, serving first for one year as assistant vice president for curriculum and assessment. Before that, she was at the University of Missouri-Rolla, where she was a professor of psychology, Management Systems director and assistant to the chancellor for Affirmative Action.
•Levi earned her doctorate, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in mathematics from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. She has been dean at Western Illinois since 2004. Before that, she was at the University of Louisville, where she was a professor, acting chair of the math department and associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Arts and Sciences.