By Michael White | Posted: Thur 4:10 PM, Jan 31, 2019

On Thursday, The University of Georgia announced the four finalists for the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. The four finalists are Jack Hu, Beate Schmittmann, Rahul Shrivastav, and Elizabeth Spiller. The search committee announced that each candidate will come to the UGA campus and hold a “public presentation.” These presentations will take place on the first day of each candidate’s visit and will take place from 9:30-10:30 AM in the Chapel. The presentations will be open to all public and media.

The 24-member search committee was headed by Dean Ben Ayers of the Terry College of Business and Dean Denise Spangler of the College of Education. The search for a new provost began in May, and included representatives of faculty, staff, administrators, students, and alumni; The Parker Executive Search Firm assisted with the search. Currently, Libby Morris, Director of UGA’s Institute of Higher Education, is serving as interim provost.

UGA President Jere Morehead said that all four finalists are “outstanding scholars and academic leaders.” President Morehead will meet with the finalists and said that he was looking forward to the “university community [having] an opportunity to meet them and hear their perspectives on elevating the University of Georgia to an even higher level of academic excellence.”

The Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost serves as the chief academic officer for UGA. The provost oversees instruction, research, public service and outreach, student affairs, and information technology. The vice presidents of those five areas, the deans of UGA’s 17 schools and colleges, and the campus dean of the Augusta University/UGA Medical Partnership all report to the provost. Other responsibilities include overseeing areas like academic fiscal affairs, academic planning and programs, faculty affairs, and the Honors Program fall under the provost’s duties.

Below are biographies on the four finalists, in order of when their campus presentations will take place.

Rahul Shrivastav

Rahul Shrivastav, credit to University of Georgia

Presentation Date: February 5th

Vice President for Instruction at the University of Georgia

Dr. Shrivastav earned his Ph.D. in speech and hearing sciences from Indiana University, Bloomington. He has served as UGA’s Vice President for Instruction since 2015, where he oversees more than 20 offices and programs, including admissions and financial aid, experiential learning, and academic advising. Dr. Shrivastav has led the development and implementation of university-wide instructional initiatives promoting student success. Prior to UGA, Dr. Shrivastav served as professor and chair in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at Michigan State University and as an associate professor at the University of Florida.

Beate Schmittmann

Beate Schmittman, credit to Iowa State University

Presentation Date: February 7th

Dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University

Dr. Schmittmann earned her Ph.D. in physics from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. She has served as the Iowa State’s Dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences since 2012, where she is also a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Dr. Schmittmann is responsible for nearly 700 faculty and more than 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is Iowa State’s most academically diverse, and she has led initiatives to strengthen engagement between the college and external partners. Prior to being Dean, Dr. Schmittmann was a professor and chair of the Department of Physics at Virginia Tech and was an assistant professor at the Institute for Theoretical Physics III at Heinrich-Heine Universitӓt.

S. Jack Hu

S. Jack Hu, credit to the University of Michigan

Presentation Date: February 11th

Vice President for Research at the University of Michigan

Dr. Hu earned his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan. He has served as Michigan’s Vice President of Research since 2014, as well as the J. Reid and Polly Anderson Professor of Manufacturing in the College of Engineering. At Michigan, Dr. Hu leads a $1.5 billion “research enterprise” that takes place on Michigan’s Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses, as well as developing international collaborations in China, Israel, and Germany. Prior to serving as Vice President of Research, Dr. Hu served as Michigan’s technical lead for the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership from 2011 to 2014. The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership was a White House initiative that “develops recommendations on manufacturing technologies, shared infrastructure, education, and policies to strengthen advanced manufacturing in the United State.”

Elizabeth Spiller

Elizabeth Spiller, credit to University of California, Davis

Presentation Date: February 13th

Dean of the College of Letters and Science at the University of California, Davis

Dr. Spiller earned her Ph.D. in English and American language and literature from Harvard University. She has served as University of California, Davis’s Dean of College of Letters and Science since 2017 and oversaw the reintegration of Letters and Science into a unified college. The college had previously been restructured into three divisions in 1995. Also, Dr. Spiller established a Faculty Council to support research initiatives. Prior to UC Davis, Dr. Spiller served as the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech from 2014 to 2017, where she saw a 59% increase in undergraduate applications and a 42% increase in incoming first-year students over a three-year period. The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences had previously seen a seven-year decline. Dr. Spiller also previously worked at Florida State University, Texas Christian University, and the University of North Texas.

For more information on the search, see: