Illustration by Celia Fong
Illustration by Celia Fong

UC Santa Cruz’s oldest residential college, Cowell College, will appoint a new provost this quarter. The current provost Faye Crosby took office in 2010 and will retire from the job in July, but will remain at the university as a professor.

“I’m very sad to see Faye leave [the Provost’s office],” said Cowell Student Senate member Seamus Howard. “All of my interactions with her have been very pleasant. She knew my name a month into school, which is so surprising.”

The provosts of UCSC’s 10 residential colleges manage programs, allocate funding for college-specific courses and programs and help raise money for their college. Provosts serve three-year terms and typically stay in office for six to nine years, Crosby said. The incoming provost will shadow Crosby to prepare for the job.

Cowell’s Vice Provost Richard Hughey will pick Cowell’s next top academic official. A search committee will present findings from six separate candidate question-and-answer forums, Hughey said in an email. The forums are open to all students and start at Cowell Conference Room 132 at 7 p.m. on Jan. 6 and Jan. 7.

Two professors, Alan Christy and Lora Bartlett, seek the appointment. Christy is an East Asian history professor who’s organized extracurricular undergraduate Japanese research trips, and Bartlett is an education professor who currently serves as Cowell’s associate provost.

“What I would like to see from the next provost is a continuance of the tradition of interaction with students,” Howard said. “I know Faye really found student interaction and student opinions very valuable.”

Howard noted Crosby would often attend Cowell senate meetings and would offer internships for students from the college. Her interaction with students and investment in their success garnered Crosby respect from students.

“When I became provost, it mattered to me that students showed up and wanted to know my opinion about what the provost job entails,” Crosby said. “Anybody who wants to become provost is someone who cares about students, cares about undergraduate education. If the students seem uninterested, woah, what a loser job this would be.”

The next provost will be strained to keep Cowell’s various programs funded, like the Cowell Press printing shop and the Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery. Crosby said another big challenge for her successor is defending UCSC’s residential college system.

“At the moment we have been very, very lucky in terms of having a chancellor, George Blumenthal and an executive vice chancellor, Alison Galloway, who believe in and support the college system,” Crosby said. “Alison has already announced that she will be retiring in about a year, and George won’t last forever. In the past we have had chancellors who have tried to get rid of the college system. If we are able to keep the college system going, that would be great.”