Provost Alden named finalist for UNO’s presidential position

By Hailey Kurth

NIU’s Provost Ray Alden has been chosen as a semi-finalist in the search for the University of New Orleans’ new President, according to an announcement made Tuesday on the UNO website.

UNO received 60 nominations and 30 applications for the position. According to the UNO website, interviews will be conducted the week of November 28 during which each semi-finalist will spend a day on campus. During his day, Alden will have the chance to talk to the search committee, faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members.

According to the NIU website, provost is the chief academic officer of the university and is designated as the executive vice president.

“Provost Alden has done a wonderful job and continues to do a wonderful job here at the university,” said Brad Hoey, NIU director of Communications & Marketing. “We are very, very fortunate to have a person with his experience and knowledge as our provost.”

Hoey said if Alden is chosen as UNO president and leaves his position as provost at NIU, the protocol would be to name an interim individual to the position and then conduct a search for a permanent administrator. For the provost position, it would be a national search, Hoey said.

Adam Norris, UNO director of Public Relations, said it has been without a Chief Executive since last year when its chancellor, Tim Ryan, stepped down.

“We began the search, but it was suspended previously because there was some discussion about us merging with another institution,” Norris said. “As a result of that, they wanted to make sure that was ironed out before they resumed the presidential search.”

UNO is in the process of switching its government system from the Louisiana State University system to the University of Louisiana system, Norris said.

“In the LSU system, the top chief executive of the universities is called the chancellor,” Norris said, “As a result of us going to the University of Louisiana system, the name changes only; we’ll be getting a new president [instead of chancellor]. It’s the same position.”

Alden is accompanied by four other semi-finalists: Peter Fos, program director of health policy and systems management at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center; Steven Goodman, dean of the College of Graduate Studies at State University of New York Upstate Medical University; Colin Scanes, a former dean of the Graduate School at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; and Michael Wartell, chancellor of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

According to the UNO website, the UNO search committee will deliberate and recommend at least two candidates Dec. 2. The final decision will be made by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana system Dec. 9 in Baton Rouge.

Alden could not be reached for comment as of press time.