Chancellor Chooses New Provost

By Alex Gladden

Razorback Reporter

A new provost and executive vice chancellor, the No. 2 position at the UofA, will assume his responsibilities Jan. 1, 2017, the UA chief of staff said Monday.

UA Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz selected James Scott “Jim” Coleman from among three finalists to serve as executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost – a newly organized position that officials said would establish a clear No. 2 position at the university.
Coleman is provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Northern Arizona University.

“We are looking forward to welcoming a seasoned administrator to help us enter the new year and implement the campus planning work we’ve spent the past year actively engaged in,” Steinmetz said in a press release.

The provost search committee narrowed the applicants to finalists who included Coleman, William M. Sherman, vice president of Innovation and Economic Development and chief operating officer of The University of Akron Research Foundation; and Sheryl Tucker, associate provost and dean of the Oklahoma State University Graduate College.

“I think all three of them were extremely qualified,” UA Chief of Staff Laura Jacobs said.

Coleman has a lot of experience, which gave him an edge on the other two finalists, Jacobs said.

“At the end of the day only one of them could be hired,” Jacobs said.

Coleman has a doctorate, from Yale University in plant ecology. His bachelor’s degree in forestry is from the University of Maine. He has also conducted research at Stanford and Harvard universities.

Coleman will have a faculty appointment as a professor of biological sciences in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts of Sciences, pending the Board of Trustees’ approval.


A version of this article also appeared in The Arkansas Traveler.