By Laura Butler

The search for a new provost came to a close Tuesday afternoon when Eastern President Doug Whitlock announced his choice for the position to the community via e-mail. Interim Provost Janna Vice is dropping the first part of her title and will remain in her office with the new title of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.At the Board of Regents meeting Monday, Whitlock told the regents he had narrowed the selection down to two candidates, both with established Eastern ties. Aaron Thompson, who currently serves on the Council for Post Secondary Education, was a former Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Vice served as the interim provost this year with service in other areas of campus reaching back several years.

Whitlock said the choice to offer the position to Vice came through evaluating her skills set, which he thought were a strong complement to current university leadership.

“Choosing from between two talented, dedicated members of our faculty and staff as Dr. Vice and Dr. Aaron Thompson was the toughest decision of my presidency to date,” Whitlock wrote in his letter to faculty, staff and students.”Both had considerable support and either would have made a fine choice. Both are my valued professional colleagues and personal friends.”

Vice said she’s excited to work further with faculty and staff to increase relationships in Academic Affairs.

“My goal is to serve the university – the faculty, staff, students and the president – in an honest, transparent and forthright way,” she said. “I try to keep faculty in academic affairs informed, to make sure they know when things are being considered.”

Vice said she also believes working with Whitlock and the other administrators will be a natural fit for her.

“I think the words privileged and honored are best to describe how I’m feeling,” Vice said. “I love this university and I’m ready to serve and work toward the president’s vision of regional stewardship, student success and the QEP.