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Office of the President

Wilson Hall, Room 204
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester , MI 48309-4486
(location map)

Office of the President

Wilson Hall, Room 204
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester , MI 48309-4486
(location map)

lake with a fountain, beige and brown building with Oakland University on it in the background

Provost Search

Oakland University is conducting a national search for its next Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. The firm Isaacson, Miller was selected to conduct the search in conjunction with an 18-member search committee appointed by OU President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz.

This site is designed to keep members of the campus community, potential candidates, and others informed about the search. Please check for updates.
Provost Candidate Finalists
Margo DelliCarpini
A head shot of Margo DelliCarpini

Margo DelliCarpini CV

Margo DelliCarpini currently serves as Vice Provost for Strategic Educational Partnerships and Dean of the College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) where she leads a large, multidisciplinary college that offers over 50 degrees, certifications, certificates, and minors at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral level, contains over 14 centers and institutes, and is home to three auxiliary units , including a nationally accredited child development center. In her role DelliCarpini works across the university and with the greater San Antonio community to increase successful outcomes for students across the educational spectrum, create connections to industry partners, and reduce barriers to college access in support of the college and university mission. DelliCarpini has initiated and supported new degree programs, innovative academic pathway and partnership programs, launched the Urban Education Institute, increased school-community partnerships, and provided enhanced resources for faculty research resulting in increased sponsored program awards. DelliCarpini has also increased philanthropic giving to the college, obtaining the single largest gift in the history of the college and continuing to ensure that the college is one of the more successful units in terms of development revenue at UTSA.

DelliCarpini’s research focuses on academic language development for English learners, and how school professionals, through professional development, professional collaboration, and teacher education, develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to effectively work with linguistically diverse learners. DelliCarpini served as the Editor of the TESOL Journal(2009-2015), an international, referred scholarly journal published by Wiley which achieved SCOPUS indexing while she was editor. She also served as a column editor for the NCTE flagship English Journal, and project editor for the award winning TESOL International Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching

(Wiley), a 14-volume encyclopedia with over 800 individual entries, published in 2018. She has served on a number of editorial boards and remains active in her field, teaching graduate level TESL courses at UTSA, engaging with the profession, and maintaining an active research agenda.

Experiences as a first-generation and non-traditional college student inform her work, research, and engagement and have guided her choice of the institutions where she has had the honor of serving either as a faculty member or leader, specifically selecting institutions where students are central to the mission, where creating a community where diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence thrive, and where providing access is a core institutional principle. Prior to her appointment at UTSA, DelliCarpini served as Dean of the College of Education at Morehead State University in Kentucky. During her tenure as Dean at Morehead, DelliCarpini worked to develop collaborative partnerships with schools and economic partners to provide opportunities for student success and community engagement. Prior to her time at Morehead DelliCarpini was a tenured faculty member at Lehman College, CUNY, and served as Chairperson of the Department of Middle and High School Education.

DelliCarpini earned her BA in Linguistics, MA in TESOL and Ph.D. in Linguistics from Stony Brook University. She holds permanent teaching and school district leadership certifications from the New York State Education Department.

Chris McCord
A head shot of Chris McCord

Chris McCord CV

Chris McCord, recently served as Acting Executive Vice President and Provost at Northern Illinois University, and was previously dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at NIU, holding the Ray and Pat Smerge Endowed Dean's Chair. As acting provost, McCord has helped develop the university’s enrollment management strategic plan, launched an integrated approaches to advising and to online education that have significantly improved enrollment and student success, co-led with the Chief Financial Officer the deployment of a new, inclusive budget development process, collaborated with the Chief Diversity Officer to create new hiring practices to promote diversity, led the development of a new restorative justice approach for student conduct, and led a review of the university’s hiring processes.

In his ten years as dean, McCord has led the creation of the university's first interdisciplinary degree programs, integrated student engagement and community engagement into the college's mission, formed three interdisciplinary centers, and grown international engagement. He has also played a leading role in the university's strategic planning efforts, particularly the recent Program Prioritization effort, where he served on the Administrative Task Force and subsequently guided the implementation of the resulting action plans across the university. Other University-level leadership has included leading the revision of the curricular approval process, creating new mechanisms for joint appointment faculty. He has collaborated with the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning to create the Student Engagement Fund, and with the University Foundation to secure endowments for the university’s “Angel Touch” degree completion fund.

Prior to joining NIU, McCord was associate dean for graduate affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Cincinnati. McCord earned Bachelor's degrees in mathematics and physics from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work as a mathematician explored the interplay between geometry and differential equations, with a particular focus on the impact of geometry on the "N-Body Problem" – the movement of particles under their mutual attraction as described by classical Newtonian mechanics. He has also worked in operations research and optimization of manufacturing processes. His work has been supported by DARPA and the National Science Foundation. He served the mathematical community as a member of the American Mathematical Society's Committee on the Profession.

McCord has been an active member of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, a national organization for arts and sciences deans and associate deans, since 2003. He served on the Board of Directors from 2012 to 2019a and recently served as president of the organization.

Renée Middleton
A head shot of Renee Middleton

Renée Middleton CV

Dr. Middleton’s professional identity is Counselor Education. She received her bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing with a minor in Behavioral Sciences from Andrews University in 1981. She has an earned master’s degree in Clinical Audiology with a minor in Speech Pathology and Behavioral Sciences from The University of Tennessee in 1983. She received her doctoral degree from Auburn University in 1990, with a focus on Rehabilitation Administration and a minor in Rehabilitation Counseling Education. Dr. Middleton has over 30 years of experience with leadership in a variety of areas to include: working with public schools in strategic planning for equitable school funding in concert with the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools (CORAS), diversity and rehabilitation counseling and multicultural diversity, within the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research, the Food & Drug Administration-Center for Devices & Radiological Health and the Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling working on Ethics/Consumer Protection.

Dr. Middleton was elected to serve on The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) with a term beginning November 1, 2013. Additionally, she served as an elected Board Member-At-Large and Board Chair of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). She currently serves as Dean of The Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education at Ohio University. In this role, Dean Middleton received the Pomeroy Award from AACTE and is viewed to be a distinguished educator with a strong commitment to transforming teaching and learning in our schools. She has spent much of her career ensuring equity and excellence in education (P-20) and is a tireless advocate for ensuring that every student in America has the chance to learn and grow under teachers whose knowledge and skills have been verified through a peer-reviewed, performance-based process. Dr. Middleton has over 25 years of research experience with topics including racial identity development, multicultural counseling competency, disability policy issues, education & workforce diversity, and mentoring. She has over 30 years of teaching experience, instructing courses such as Multicultural Issues in Counseling, Counseling Theory & Practice, Counseling and Human Services, Writing for Research and Publication in Counseling, and Speech and Hearing core courses.

Britt Rios-Ellis
Headshot of Britt Rios-Ellis

Britt Rios-Ellis CV

Dr. Britt Rios-Ellis has served as the founding Dean of the College of Health Sciences and Human Services (CHSHS) at California State University Monterey Bay since 2014. From 1994-2014, she served as professor at California State University Long Beach and founding director of the National Council of La Raza/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training and the barrio- based Centro Salud es Cultura.

As PI on the first two Hispanic Serving Institution grants in both GE and STEM fields, she created Latino and URM-specific student programs and curriculum that honor, integrate, and evaluate the impact of cultural and linguistic capital into S(H)TE(A)M, health, and educational programming. In 2013, Britt was awarded CSULB’s highest honor: Outstanding Professor.

At CSUMB, Dean Rios-Ellis doubled and diversified the number of tenure-track faculty and co-founded a Master of Science Physician Assistant (MSPA) Program, the first in the CSU. To undergird the MSPA, Britt collaborated with health care partners to build preceptor sites and raise over $2 million. Under her leadership CHSHS established two new academic departments, Social Work and Nursing, and is in the process of building an accredited Master of Public Health Program. Furthermore, she has partnered with faculty and staff to open the Center for Community Health Engagement (Centro CHE), a multipurpose, interprofessional center that works to optimize wellness and create housing opportunities for the homeless. During the COVID-19 pandemic she has worked with faculty and staff to spearhead the development of safety protocols for face-to-face learning and community based outreach efforts.

Britt has spearheaded over $56 million in URM-student success initiatives and community-strengthening applied research as PI or Co-PI on projects funded by the: Office of Minority Health, Health Resource Services Administration (HRSA), NIH, USDA, National Institutes for Minority Health and Health Disparities, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and others–including foundation-supported projects.

Dean Rios-Ellis has authored peer-reviewed manuscripts on Latino and URM-focused education, HIV/AIDS, maternal-child health, nutrition, and obesity, and is the recipient of: the American Public Health Association’s Henry Montes Presidential Award from the Latino Caucus, two Woman of the Year accolades from the National Hispanic Business Women’s Association and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Sol Award from the L.A. County Office of AIDS Policy.

Britt was a commissioned member of the CDC/HRSA’s National Advisory Committee on HIV/STD Prevention, the SAMHSA’s Advisory Committee for Women’s Services, and the President’s Advisory Commission for HIV/AIDS/CHAC Disclosure Work Group. She has appeared on Spanish and English- language television and radio for Telemundo, Univision, CNN, and ABC World News.

Dean Rios-Ellis holds Bachelors’ degrees in Spanish and Political Science, a Master of Science in Health and Fitness Management, a certificate in Women’s Studies, and a Doctorate in Community Health from the University of Oregon. She completed the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education at Harvard and the HERS Program for Women’s Leadership in Higher Education at Bryn Mawr.

Application and Nomination

The Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost is administratively responsible for all academic departments and programs, and serves as a key member of Oakland’s senior administrative team.

The position will remain open until filled. The position description is posted at

Applications must include a curriculum vitae along with a cover letter addressing the opportunities, challenges, and candidate qualifications. The successful candidate will possess a terminal degree, a distinguished record of teaching and scholarship commensurate with full professor status at Oakland, and strong academic leadership experience.

Confidential discussions and nominations may be arranged by contacting Pam Pezzoli at or Robin Dougherty at It will handled solely by the search firm consultants (rather than by the search committee) to ensure the highest degree of confidentiality.

Creating and maintaining a diverse, equitable and inclusive campus is a strategic priority for Oakland University. We are seeking applications from individuals who are interested in and committed to supporting and advancing our DEI institutional values. Oakland University encourages all qualified applicants to apply and be assured that there shall be no discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, height, weight, familial status, marital status, disability, creed, sexual orientation, veteran status or other prohibited factors in employment, admissions, educational programs or activities.

Oakland University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work-life balance irrespective of, race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation.

Oakland University Provost Profile

Opportunity and Challenge Profile

Oakland University
Search for the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Rochester, Michigan

Oakland University cultivates the full potential of a diverse and inclusive community. As a public doctoral institution, we impact Michigan and the world through education, research, scholarship and creative activity. – Mission of Oakland University.

Oakland University (OU), a public doctoral research institution in southeastern Michigan, seeks a collaborative, experienced, entrepreneurial, and dedicated academic affairs leader to serve as its next Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost (Provost). This is an outstanding opportunity for a seasoned professional who demonstrates strategic thinking, creative energy, sound judgment, and superior communication skills to lead the academic affairs division at an institution with an impressive upward trajectory while paving a path that anticipates future changes in the public higher education landscape. Oakland has recently been recognized by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions in Higher Education as an R2 doctoral institution and has a dedicated faculty and staff that is fiercely passionate about engaged learning, academic discovery, community engagement, and diversity. Oakland’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has been comprehensive and university leadership responded quickly to preserve the safety and health of its students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community. The next Executive Vice President and Provost will join the university at a time when strategic and creative leadership is required to reimagine higher education at Oakland University throughout the course of the pandemic and beyond.

Founded as Michigan State University-Oakland in 1957 following the unique donation of the vast Matilda and Alfred Wilson estate to support higher education, Oakland University has grown into a student-centered research institution with a global perspective. Operating independently since 1970, the University serves a diverse student population and the institution is woven deeply into its surrounding community. Over its history, the University has grown to accommodate more than 19,000 students, over 600 full-time and 595 part-time faculty and offers more than 140 bachelor’s degree programs and 130 doctoral, master’s degree and certificate programs. With a strong foundation in the liberal arts, as well as a robust cadre of professional schools including the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, OU is poised to build upon its bold and remarkable past as it charts an exciting and even more powerful future. As outlined in the university’s 2025 strategic plan, efforts are underway to enhance student success, grow research and scholarly activity, advance diversity, equity and inclusion, and expand the institution’s visibility both in the region and nationally.

Oakland University seeks strong and definitive leadership for its academic programs and faculty, further develop its position as a growing force within higher education in the state of Michigan, and help the university navigate the current and future challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic The Provost will join the president in leading the institution through its strategic plan and will foster a strong sense of trust and respect from the faculty, staff, administration, and students. The next Provost will be expected to strategically allocate current resources, develop new resources to meet the university’s mission, vision and strategic plan, and help realize Oakland’s commitment to advancing research and supporting a faculty of accomplished teacher- scholars. Reporting to the President, the Provost serves as OU’s chief academic officer responsible for overarching leadership and operational accountability for all academic activities and units. The successful Provost candidate will possess a distinguished record of teaching and scholarship commensurate with full professor status at Oakland; a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion; experience in senior academic administration with a record of supporting undergraduate student success and excellence in graduate education and scholarship; the ability to manage change within a unionized environment and shared governance; and a passion for public higher education.

A list of the desired qualifications and characteristics of the Provost can be found at the conclusion of this document. This document provides background information and details the key opportunities and challenges related to the position. All confidential applications, inquiries, and nominations should be directed to the parties listed at the conclusion of this document.

About Oakland University

As one of 15 public universities in the state of Michigan, Oakland University cultivates the full potential of a diverse and inclusive community. As a doctoral institution, the University is dedicated to impacting Michigan and the world through education, research, scholarship, and creative activity. Oakland University has grown tremendously since its founding just over 60 years ago and today offers a distinct educational experience with flexible class schedules, state-of-the- art facilities, comprehensive student services, and dynamic research and internship opportunities. Located in the heart of Oakland County’s Automation Alley, the University has forged hundreds of partnerships with hospitals, Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and educational institutions.

The University is organized across seven academic units: College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business Administration, the School of Education and Human Services, the School of Engineering and Computer Science, the School of Health Sciences, the School of Nursing, the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, and the university libraries.

Enrollment has grown steadily in recent years and in Fall 2019, the University enrolled 15,543 undergraduate and 3,470 graduate students. The student population is broadly diverse and includes roughly 32% first-generation college students and 20% students of color. Nearly 30% of undergraduates are over the age of 25 and the campus enrolls nearly 900 international students. Incoming freshmen in the fall of 2019 had an average GPA of 3.56, an average SAT of 1127 and average ACT score of 25. OU has made great strides with the post-traditional and adult learner population, as the university is the number one Michigan public university transfer destination in the state and is ranked number three in the state for attracting and graduating undergraduate adult learners. Forty-two percent of full-time undergraduates received need-based financial aid in the 2017-18 academic year with $61M awarded in scholarships and $1 million in scholarships awarded by the Oakland University Alumni Association to qualified students.

The University continues to gain prominence and recognition. Oakland’s business school is one of only 186 business schools of 16,000 worldwide to earn AACSB international accreditation for both business and accounting programs; Oakland University’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology is ranked 16th among the top 25 Best Campus IT Programs for 2019, according to a survey by; and, Oakland’s Nurse Anesthesia program is ranked 18th in the country according to U.S. News & World Report for 2016.

For more information on Oakland University, visit

Oakland University Leadership

On July 1, 2017, Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D. became Oakland University’s seventh president. President Pescovitz has more than 30 years of experience leading change in academic health centers and universities, delivering innovations in bench-to-bedside discovery and facilitating collaborations between academic and community partners. Among other roles, President Pescovitz has served as Senior Vice President and U.S. Medical Leader for Eli Lilly and Company, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs at University of Michigan, and President and CEO of Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Indiana. A renowned pediatric endocrinologist and researcher who has published more than 190 papers and books, President Pescovitz is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and is a sought-after speaker on a range of topics, including healthcare, leadership, diversity and women’s issues.


Oakland University is governed by an eight-member Board of Trustees appointed by the governor to serve eight-year terms. The board provides general supervision of the university, including control and direction of all expenditures from the institution's funds.

The Oakland University Senate is an all-university governance body whose membership includes administrative officers, students and faculty members elected for two-year terms to represent their academic units. The Senate recommends new degree programs to the president and the board and must approve the constitutions of colleges and schools. It determines academic policies and provides opportunity for public deliberation on issues of importance to the university.

Oakland University 2025 Strategic Plan

President Pescovitz has been leading the institution through several key strategic priorities in order to build upon the institution’s growth. Oakland University 2025 is the product of a two- year long comprehensive strategic planning process involving faculty, staff, students, and the Board of Trustees. Implementation of this strategic plan will grow Oakland University’s impact and reputation in academic circles and in the broader public, while continuing the institution’s forward movement into the top tier of public universities in Michigan and across the region. The goals and priorities laid out in the Oakland University 2025 strategic plan describes that future and will help ensure steady progress in achieving it.

Strategic Goals

  • Foster student success though a robust teaching and learning environment and comprehensive student
  • Be recognized as a strong research and scholarly environment focused on creative endeavors and the discovery, dissemination, and utilization of
  • Become a leader in serving the needs and aspirations of our communities and region through expanded community relationships, institutional reputation and visibility, and engagement.
  • Advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in an environment of mutual trust and respect at all levels of the institution and facilitate opportunities and success for all community members.

Aspire. Advance. Achieve. The Campaign for Oakland University

In November of 2018, OU launched the public phase of their comprehensive campaign, “Aspire. Advance. Achieve.” The campaign has raised over $70M of the $150M dollar goal, and accelerates OU’s mission through key pillars including student success; teaching, research and discovery; community collaboration; campus expansion; and innovative programs. With investment in these important areas, OU will enable students from diverse backgrounds excel in the classroom and beyond as well as improve opportunities to recruit and retain high-achieving scholars.

Additionally, increased investment in teaching, research, high functioning institutes and centers of excellence will serve to enhance OU’s ability to build faculty talent. Recruiting and retaining top faculty will foster meaningful collaboration with corporate and foundation partners, including maintaining current and fostering new partnerships with the surrounding community OU serves. With new innovation in programming and curriculum, increased research, and the need to update the campus facilities to meet the needs of today’s and future students, investments will be made to improve labs and learning spaces to bring classroom theory to life. With these major investments, OU plans to continue designing curriculum and spaces to prepare its students to be successful leaders and citizens before and after graduation.

Academic Schools and Programs

The College of Arts and Sciences is comprised of 16 departments and the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, and is devoted to teaching and researching liberal arts, including the humanities, social sciences, visual and performing arts, and mathematical and laboratory sciences. As the largest academic unit at Oakland University, the College of Arts and Sciences offers more than 100 majors and a wide range of concentrations such as archaeology, biology, chemistry, physics, criminal justice, religious studies, environmental studies, international relations, pre-medical studies, social work and urban studies to enhance and complement their primary focus. Almost two thirds of all courses taught at OU are within the College of Arts & Sciences.

The School of Business Administration sustains more than 40 years of educational excellence by remaining relevant to the ever-changing global business environment and providing students a distinctive educational experience that integrates classroom learning with real-world business experience and research. At OU, students find undergraduate and graduate programs centered on integrating theory, leading-edge research and real-world experience to give them a true understanding of how business works, preparing them for immediate success. As one of only 186 business schools of 16,000 worldwide to earn AACSB-International accreditation in both business and accounting, the school offers nine undergraduate business majors and 11 minors, four master’s degree programs, and a wealth of graduate certificates.

The School of Education and Human Services exemplifies excellence in education and human services through clinical practice, innovative, interdisciplinary and international curricula, community engagement, teaching, individual and collaborative research. The school maintains five academic departments and offers over 30 academic programs to current undergraduate and graduate students as well professional development to current teachers and administrators off campus and online. Degrees are offered at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level in addition to certifications.

The School of Engineering and Computer Science (SECS) offers instruction leading to degrees at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. The programs are offered through five departments: Bioengineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. The SECS, with 3,377 undergraduate and graduate students, features an outstanding faculty dedicated to preparing learners for the 21st-century workplace and society as well as for research in their fields of specialization.

The School of Health Sciences provides an exceptional environment of collaborative, academic and clinical learning that helps transform students into leaders impacting the health needs of communities in diverse wellness and health-related practices. The School is passionate about providing students with the best science-based health education, high-quality academic preparation, interdisciplinary teaching and excellence in instruction in the classroom and clinical laboratory.

The Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (OUWB) offers an innovative four- year curriculum that vertically integrates the basic and clinical sciences. The School arose from a partnership between Oakland University and Beaumont Health. Driven by the vision to lead in promoting, maintaining, and restoring health to individuals and their communities, Oakland and Beaumont initiated the process to create a new allopathic medical school in 2007. Its mission is to maintain an interdisciplinary environment that facilitates creation and application of new knowledge for improved health through the integration of data from patients, providers, and communities. OUWB matriculated its first class in 2011 and was granted full accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) in February 2015.

The School of Nursing is among the top 20 ranked CRNA programs by U.S. News & World Report. The School offers three undergraduate programs, BSN, accelerated second degree BSN, and the online RN to BSN degree completion, MSN programs, nurse anesthesia DNP, Doctor of nursing practice, and Ph.D. in nursing. The School of Nursing is one of the few schools to offer state of the art human patient simulators for students to hone their skills and become familiar with a wider variety of scenarios in order to feel more comfortable in the hospital setting. The programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

The Graduate School seeks to make OU the university of choice for graduate students and a national leader in graduate education. The Graduate School partners with Oakland University's academic units to provide a rich environment for graduate student success that fosters leaders in discovery, innovation, and creative endeavors. The School in collaboration with the schools and college recruits, retains and graduates engaged professionals whose work impacts the state, the nation and the world.

The Honors College empowers students to thrive. The college enrolls academically strong undergraduates who strive for the highest distinction. Offering unique additional scholarships, dedicated housing, small classes, a flexible curriculum, one-of-a-kind research, creative opportunities and a collaborative environment, the Honors College helps guide students in every degree toward success.

The Libraries of Oakland University, Kresge Library and the OUWB Medical Library, work to integrate teaching, information, and technology to create dynamic and welcoming learning environments. Staff and faculty in the Libraries are committed to fostering academic excellence and promoting information literacy within the campus community and beyond. Home to 13 full- time and 5 part-time faculty as well as 26 staff, Kresge Library offers robust research services and educational opportunities for the campus community.

Community Engagement

OU’s engagement in the surrounding communities is a high priority for the campus administration, faculty and students, cultivating mutually beneficial relationships that drive change. OU strives to become a leader in serving the needs and aspirations of the local community and region through expanded community relationships to address societal issues, educate citizens, and contribute to the public good with increased visibility and engagement.

OU/Pontiac Initiative: Oakland University and the City of Pontiac joined forces for a broad- reaching partnership that emphasizes community engagement and mutually beneficial relationships called the OU/Pontiac Initiative. Launched in 2014, the Initiative includes faculty and staff representatives from Oakland University and Pontiac business owners, representatives from non-profit agencies, Pontiac schools, hospitals and the Pontiac Mayor’s office as well as Pontiac residents and enthusiasts. Through these interactive meetings, the community and campus share needs and concerns and brainstorm ideas of how they can work together to solve issues of public concern. From these grassroots activities, six pillar areas emerged to give shape to this civic-minded initiative: PK-16 Education, Civic Engagements, Economic and Workforce, Health Care and Wellness, Arts and Culture, and Nonprofits and Neighborhoods. With intentional partnerships established between OU faculty and staff and Pontiac community leaders to lead each of the prescribed pillars, award-winning and grant-securing programs have been created in the last six years that have impacted both the university and Pontiac communities beyond imagination. Data-supported outcomes for the pillars showcase the measurable impact of the Initiative and the leaders and participants look forward to fulfilling additional objectives in the current year.

Faculty and Research

Oakland University’s distinguished faculty consists of more than 1,200 faculty members, including full-time and part-time appointments who are represented by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) or faculty in the OUWB. Within these faculty tracks, 49 percent are women and 9 percent are from underrepresented minorities and groups. Faculty are dedicated teacher-scholars with a deep commitment to education and academic discovery. The university has a number of initiatives and centers to promote and enhance excellence in teaching as well as research.

The university has over 109,502 sq. ft. of research space and in FY 2019 the total awards from external funding were $9.1 million. The Office of Academic Affairs, in collaboration with the Research Office, has recently announced a call for proposals for faculty cluster hires in order to deepen research at OU by creating a critical mass of faculty across schools and departments in promising new areas of research.

Finance and Budget

The FY2020 budget for OU is approximately $342.7 million with its endowment totaling $108 million. The Provost is responsible for overseeing the budget development process for Academic Affairs and ensuring its $200 million budget is allocated in a manner consistent with the University’s strategic plan.


Oakland University is located in Oakland County, Michigan and is roughly 25 miles north of Detroit. The main campus straddles the cities of Auburn Hills and Rochester Hills though its official campus address is in nearby Rochester. In addition, there are two locations in adjacent Macomb County (Mount Clemens and Clinton Township).

Southeast Michigan is a major center of economic activity, and where Oakland University has more than an $800 million economic impact. Metro Detroit is the world’s hub for automotive research and safety; domestic as well as Japanese, Chinese and Indian auto manufacturers have major R&D facilities in the region. The health care industry in the region has an overall economic impact of $38 billion annually, with more than 13,000 related businesses and over 350,000 jobs. In addition to Detroit’s historic and ongoing reputation as the Motor City, southeast Michigan is a rapidly developing innovation center.

Southeast Michigan also offers much in recreation and the arts. The region is one of the most ethnically diverse communities in America; many languages, cultures, and traditions have contributed to vibrant local businesses and restaurants. Metro Detroit has a nationally renowned art institute, symphony orchestra, and museums, as well as a wine region growing nationally in reputation. The nearby Great Lakes account for 20% of the world's fresh water and offer endless miles of coastline with beautiful beaches, serving as a major resort destination.

For more information on Oakland County, visit

The Role

The Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost is the chief academic officer of the university with responsibility for the development, growth, and quality of all academic programs and related support functions.

The responsibilities of the Provost include the articulation of a university academic vision, leadership in academic strategic planning, academic assessment, the development and administration of academic budgets, and the advancement of excellence in teaching, scholarship, research and service. The Provost reports directly to the president and serves as acting president in her absence.

Today, the Provost oversees 21 direct reports including all academic deans, the dean of graduate education, the dean of the honors college, associate provost, assistant vice president for budget and personnel, associate vice president for research, executive director of Macomb County outreach, director of institutional research, director of eye research institute and all academic affairs staff.

The next Provost will have the opportunity to welcome new Deans of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, as well as a new Dean of the Graduate School. This is an unprecedented and enormous opportunity to shape the future trajectory of a rapidly growing and promising institution. Leading the institution through this leadership transition, the Provost will also provide the traditional bridge between faculty members and all other Oakland constituencies, advocating the centrality of the academic program while working to further integrate all campus communities. This will be accomplished by establishing best practices and working through committee structures, advisory groups, unions, and shared governance systems.

Key Opportunities and Challenges for the Provost

Provide visionary academic leadership

The Provost will be an inspiring leader with a strong academic vision coupled with the ability to provide strategic direction. Working collaboratively with University leadership, faculty, academic deans and staff, the Provost will promote a climate of academic excellence, student success, community engagement carefully crafting key partnerships to ensure success. As the University’s academic leader, the Provost will be expected to make key, and potentially difficult, decisions concerning academic programs, resources, and the budget, among others.

Realize the goals in the strategic plan and set a course for the future of academics

The Provost will work collaboratively with the president, deans, faculty, and staff to establish specific academic goals consistent with the goals established by the 2025 OU Strategic Plan and maintain the momentum of those exciting initiatives to strengthen existing programs. Understanding the current and future challenges that lie ahead in higher education, the Provost will proactively prepare OU for significant changes that the university may face. These include the evolving nature of student learning and pedagogical advancements, creative strategies for enrollment growth, expanding opportunities for global engagement, the increasing use of technology in creating and disseminating knowledge, and the challenge to traditional disciplinary boundaries. The Provost must have the intellectual breadth and curiosity to understand and engage all academic units across the spectrum, from the liberal arts to the sciences to the professions, in order to align the overarching institutional goals with academic priorities.

The campus faculty work together under a strongly valued and closely adhered to shared governance system including the University Senate and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). The Provost will work together with faculty leaders to ensure the governance process is followed and the communications lines between the faculty and the Provost’s office are open and responsive.

Facilitate the continued growth of research and scholarship

Recently classified by Carnegie as a Doctoral University with High Research Activity (R2), Oakland is now more committed than ever to cutting-edge research and scholarship. As the institution is poised to transform its academic profile, the Provost will work closely with the Chief Research Officer to guide faculty through the academic and research priorities and policies that are consistent with a Carnegie R2 designation. With resources at a premium, the Provost will strategically approach methods to grow external grants, including building upon ongoing cluster hiring efforts. The Provost will also work collaboratively to ensure that there are support systems leading to even higher levels of research success across all disciplines and make the university an inspiring place for faculty with ambitious research goals, while maintaining OU’s commitment to excellence in teaching and student engagement.

Further Advancing Oakland’s Trajectory

As one of the fastest growing and most dynamic institutions in the state, OU holds a special stature in Michigan. Nevertheless, opportunities exist to further the regional and national reputation of the university by recognizing programs of excellence through effective communication and publicly championing the excellent work of students and faculty and staff members. The Provost will be expected to help lead the conversation around institutional identity and will articulate a narrative that will lay a foundation for the work that needs to be done in terms of attracting and retaining high-quality faculty and students as well as enhancing the overall fund-raising efforts of the institution.

Advance diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts

As a public institution, OU is committed to educational excellence that embraces the principles of diversity and inclusion as an integral part of the academic mission. The next Provost will share the institution’s commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion, bring experience in advancing this agenda, and will carry forward and communicate the value and importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. In partnership with the Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer, and the Diversity Council, the Provost will also champion a learning environment where everyone feels welcomed and respected and where diverse backgrounds, ideas and opinions enrich both the learning experience and learning outcomes. The Provost will also champion diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in the recruitment of faculty and academic affairs staff, creating an environment of inclusion across the university.

Ensure student success is infused into all university strategic efforts

Student success drives the university strategic framework and as such, the Provost will need to pay close attention to student development matters, support services, and student engagement at both the undergraduate and graduate level and engage the campus community in innovating and promoting student success efforts. Cultivate important partnerships with Student Affairs, Career Development, and other important student services to ensure student success is top of mind across the University.

Oakland has enjoyed success in growing and maintaining student enrollment as well as increasing graduation rates, and the Provost will engage in highly successful activities to maintain this momentum. In partnership with the associate vice provost of enrollment management, the Provost will continue work with the Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) plan. The goal of the plan is to align OU’s strategic framework with student recruitment goals, retention and success initiatives including optimizing resources while identifying the ideal metrics to measure enrollment. In the midst of the current crisis, the SEM plan will play a vital role as the campus begins to realize the new future as a university. As a public institution with a mission to serve the greater Oakland/Macomb community and beyond, the university will continue to devise innovative strategies aimed at student success, recruiting, welcoming, and supporting intellectually talented and diverse students from Michigan and across the nation.

Qualities of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

The next Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost will have the opportunity to join a dynamic institution with a history of collaborative leadership. The successful candidate will bring many, if not all, of the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

  • Distinguished record of teaching and scholarship commensurate with full professor status, and an impressive record of achievement in research and creative endeavors. Serves as leader of the university’s academic
  • A decisive visionary and exceptional communicator with a record of transformational leadership and a proven ability to build teams, assemble and motivate staff and determine the most efficient and effective path to accomplish high-priority university goals.
  • Demonstrable academic leadership experience in representing the diverse disciplinary constituencies, and a fundamental grasp of the prominent role of student success, research, community engagement and diversity as central to the university’s ongoing growth.
  • A bold, entrepreneurial vision that reflects a strategic understanding of how to respond effectively to higher education trends, especially in the areas of adult-learning initiatives, online learning courses/programs, enrollment management, research and community
  • An ardent supporter of diversity, equity and inclusion who promotes faculty professional development and hiring policies to further diversify faculty and
  • Strong financial management skills along with an astute understanding of university finances and the relationships among academic priorities and budgeting. Broad experience overseeing medical school administration, knowledge of health system realities, and deep understanding of medical education issues a definite
  • Highly proficient financial management skills, incisive analytical expertise and technological savvy that support timely data-driven decisions and productive
  • A keen political sensibility and proven ability to facilitate, advocate, mediate and resolve academic policy and related issues; specific experience in resolving a range of faculty concerns and effectively contributing to the success of the union contract bargaining process.
  • A commitment to shared governance, collegial decision making, and open to advice and rigorous
  • Impeccable character, integrity and compassion with the ability to understand the “OU experience” as it relates to students, faculty and

To Apply

Oakland University has retained Isaacson, Miller to assist in this search. Please direct all inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications in strict confidence to:

Pam Pezzoli, Partner
Robin Dougherty, Senior Associate Charles Bentley, Associate
Isaacson, Miller

Electronic submission is strongly encouraged.

Creating and maintaining a diverse, equitable and inclusive campus is a strategic priority for Oakland University. We are seeking applications from individuals who are interested in and committed to supporting and advancing our DEI institutional values. Oakland University encourages all qualified applicants to apply and be assured that there shall be no discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, height, weight, familial status, marital status, disability, creed, sexual orientation, veteran status or other prohibited factors in employment, admissions, educational programs or activities.

Oakland University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work-life balance.

Search Committee Members

First and Last Name





Glenn McIntosh

Senior Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer

Student Affairs & Diversity


Dawn Aubry

Vice President

Enrollment Management


Andrea Bittinger

Adjunct Faculty, Adm. & Clinical Coordinator

OU-Beaumont Nurse Anesthesia Graduate Program

Ethan Bradley


President, OU Student Congress


Brian Calley

Board Member

OU Board of Trustees

Joi Cunningham

Assistant Vice President

Academic Human Resources


David Dulio


Political Science (CAS)


Annabella Jankowski


Vice President, OU Student Congress


Joy Jiang

Associate Professor

Management & Marketing (SBA)


Shailesh Lal


Biological Science (CAS)


Kristin Landis-Piwowar

Associate Dean

Health Sciences (SHS)


Jana Nidiffer

Associate Professor

Educational Leadership (SEHS)


Bob Noiva

Associate Dean

Medical Education (SOM)


David Stone

Associate Vice President



Amy Tully

Associate Dean

Music, Theatre & Dance (CAS)


Elizabeth Wallis


University Library


Mike Westfall

Vice President

University Advancement


Beth Zou

Associate Dean

Engineering & Computer Science (SECS)


Search Committee Administrative Liaison

Frank Provenzano


Presidential Communications


Timeline for Search

Search Progress




Search Committee meeting
Public forums
Position posted

Mid/Late June

Applications reviewed - Phase One

July 15-16

Interviews by search committee

Late July

Applications reviewed - Phase Two

August 17-27

Late August

Finalists Interviews and Open Forum

Community feedback collected by 8/31/2020

Committee makes recommendation to

President Pescovitz


President Pescovitz selects new

Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

About Oakland University

Oakland University was established in 1957 when the late Alfred and Matilda Wilson donated $2 million and their 1,400-acre estate to Michigan State University to start a new college in Oakland County. 

The university enrolls more than 20,000 students in more than 143 baccalaureate and 135 graduate degree and certificate programs. OU is rated one of the country’s 82 doctoral/research intensive universities by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. 

The university is located in Oakland County, one of the most prosperous counties in the United States. Nearby are facilities for nearly 300 Fortune 500 companies, including five world headquarters, and more than 800 internationally owned companies.