Pending approval, Scarborough to become Main Campus Provost
Pending approval from the University of Toledo Board of Trustees, Scott Scarborough will succeed Bill McMillen as Main Campus Provost.
Scarborough is senior vice president for finance and administration at UTMC. In that position, he said, his objective was to “keep the hospital steady” and allow it to grow.
Scarborough said he believes the provost is similar to a Chief Operations Officer of a corporation in that both positions supervise operational work.
UT President Lloyd Jacobs said the basic job description of the provost is twofold.
He said the administrator “keeps the trains running” by making sure classes are scheduled and supervising grading. The second part is being able to look ahead and foresee issues facing the higher education institution.
“It’s a difficult job to balance the sort of operational stuff and the strategic visionary stuff,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs’ recommendation comes after an outsourced nationwide search for a new provost that brought candidates from the University of Cincinnati, the University of Akron and the University of Maryland in Baltimore County.
Jacobs said he did not anticipate Scarborough applying, but compared to the other candidates interviewed, Scarborough was a better fit.
“When compared to [the other candidates], I felt that Scarborough’s ability to make the trains move as well as visionary strategic direction setting was far superior,” Jacobs said. “We came to realize that our most highly qualified candidate was in fact down the road in the other campus.”
Scarborough said some of the issues he feels UT will face in the upcoming years involve finding ways to sustain the university while public funding decreases due to the recession, looking to make the degrees more valuable and increasing enrollment and retention.
Jacobs said one of Scarborough’s more attractive qualities was his focus on improving student-centeredness at the university.
“He puts the students at the center, the single most important issue that is important to him and to me,” he said. “To my mind, that’s really what put him ahead of all the other candidates.”
Jacobs said he feels UT needs to pay more attention to student-centeredness. He said while UT is not where it could be, he feels that by addressing specific amenities such as parking, scheduling and residence life, Toledo is ahead of other larger institutions.
“I think we’ve not put students in the center as well as we could,” he said.
When asked to rate student-centeredness at the university today on a scale of one to 10, Jacobs said UT is at “probably five or six.”
At the same time, he added, “I think we’re ahead of other universities in terms of responsiveness.”
“Traditionally, older institutions don’t worry about amenities,” he said. “I think we’ve come a long distance, but we still have a long way to go.”
The board’s Academic and Student Affairs Committee is to consider Scarborough’s appointment on Aug. 28. If the committee approves, the full board will vote on the recommendation Sept 17.
Scarborough said until then, he will be working with McMillen to learn the ropes of the provost position while making arrangements to transition out of his current job.
Scarborough received his PhD in strategic management from the University of Texas in Arlington, holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Tyler and an accounting degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
He taught auditing at St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas, strategic management and finances at DePaul University in Chicago and finances at Toledo.
He accepted the position of senior vice president at UTMC in May 2010.
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