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EVPP Position Profile

Position Specification

Executive Vice President and Provost
University of Minnesota

Position: Executive Vice President and Provost
Institution: University of Minnesota
Location: Twin Cities, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
Reporting Relationship: The EVPP reports directly to the President in consultation and coordination with the University’s senior leadership team, and is a senior leader liaison to the Board of Regents. Additional information on the University of Minnesota organizational structure is available here.
Institutional Website: umn.edu

The opportunity

The University of Minnesota is seeking applications and nominations for Executive Vice President and Provost (EVPP). As the institution’s chief academic officer, the EVPP will work in partnership with the University’s incoming President Joan T. A. Gabel to advance the University’s reputation as one of the world’s most renowned public research universities.

The EVPP is the chief academic officer of the University of Minnesota’s multi‐campus system and provost for the Twin Cities campus, with overarching responsibility for fostering the academic excellence of the University’s educational, research, and outreach missions. The EVPP has a primary leadership role in the president’s cabinet, with broad strategic and administrative responsibility for policies and practices that affect the academic life of the University and shared leadership responsibility for effective management and advancement of the administrative and operational functions of the University. The EVPP also provides leadership for undergraduate, graduate, and professional education, and has system-wide oversight and administrative responsibility for academic programs and curriculum; faculty development and support, including promotion and tenure; and accreditation and institutional accountability. The EVPP provides leadership to strengthen student access, experience, and support; and oversees strategic initiatives to advance research and teaching excellence and innovation and public outreach carrying forward the University’s land-, sea-, and space-grant mission.  The EVPP also has shared responsibility for leading strategic academic components of the systemwide strategic planning framework.  More broadly, the EVPP works with the president, chancellors, deans, and other leaders to leverage strengths across the multi-campus system, enhance the distinct strengths of the five campuses, and support ongoing “system orientation” in academic and operational planning.  The EVPP directs academic policy and administration for colleges and schools on the Twin Cities campus, as well as central student and academic support units.

The EVPP serves as the Board of Regents senior leader liaison for the Board's Mission Fulfillment Committee, incorporating Board priorities, planning calendar, and committee work to guide agenda development. The EVPP plays a collaborative leadership role in academic planning and budgeting; institutional capital planning; institutional advancement and fundraising; and academic technology planning.

As University of Minnesota Twin Cities Provost, the EVPP has responsibility for oversight and management of the colleges, schools, and academic units of the Twin Cities campus; for the assessment of collegiate performance and the review of deans; and for oversight of academic leadership and management in the areas of undergraduate education, graduate and professional education, faculty and academic affairs, and student affairs that support colleges and schools, degree programs, and research and outreach programs across both the campus and system. The EVPP also has responsibility for implementing the Twin Cities campus strategic plan, Driving Tomorrow, as a multi-component framework for leveraging research and curricular strengths to advance academic excellence and impact.

The University of Minnesota


The multi-campus University of Minnesota is one of the most comprehensive universities in the country and ranks among the most prestigious research universities in the world. The University has scholars, scientists, artists, and teachers of national and international reputation as well as a strong tradition of public engagement. It has the special distinction of being Minnesota’s land-, sea-, and space-grant university, dedicated to serving the public good; and its globally engaged flagship research institution, charged with positioning the state at the forefront of emerging knowledge and educating highly skilled workers, professionals, leaders, and global citizens to thrive in a diverse and changing world.  As the public land-, sea-, space-grant, and research university for the state of Minnesota, it plays a major role in shaping an economically strong, culturally vibrant, and civic-minded state.

The University of Minnesota system comprises 5 campuses, which together carry out its mission of research and discovery; teaching and learning; and outreach and public service. The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, located in the large metropolitan area of Minneapolis-St. Paul; the University of Minnesota, Crookston, located in the northwest corner of the state; the University of Minnesota Duluth, on the shores of Lake Superior; the University of Minnesota Morris, on the western edge of the state; and the University of Minnesota Rochester in southeastern Minnesota.

The UMN Twin Cities, the flagship R1 research campus, is one of few major research campuses in a major metropolitan area. The UMN Crookston offers a technology‐rich environment where students develop the skills and leadership abilities to succeed in our global economy. The UMN Duluth is a highly rated comprehensive university with considerable research infrastructure and a strong record of undergraduate student achievement and community engagement.  The UMN Morris is ranked as one of the top public liberal arts colleges in the nation and a leader in environmental and sustainability solutions. The UMN Rochester, in partnership with a destination academic medical center, offers access to more than 30 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the areas of health sciences and biotechnology.

The University also encompasses regional Extension offices, research and outreach centers, clinics, labs, professional education outreach, and K–12 educational engagement programs throughout the state. It includes a comprehensive library system recognized as a national model, and  world-class performing arts facilities, museums, and galleries.

The University of Minnesota has more than 60,000 students, 26,000 employees, and half a million alumni living around the world. Students from 130 countries are enrolled on our campuses, and thousands of students at the U of M study abroad.  In research expenditures, U of M is the 8th most active public research university in the United States and it ranks 37th among the world’s top universities overall. U of M’s distinguished intellectual history includes 26 Nobel Prize laureates. The breadth of its academic programs and offerings on the Twin Cities campus is matched by only three other universities in the country. This diverse constellation of academic programs creates an enviable environment for fundamental discoveries in the biological sciences, physical sciences, health sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, and engineering. The University is one of only five universities in the nation with schools of engineering, human and veterinary medicine, law, nursing, and agriculture on one campus. 

The University is the state’s economic and intellectual engine. With an annual operating budget of $3.8 billion, 26,000 employees, large student population, and research centers and health care services, the University has an annual statewide economic impact of $8.6 billion. As Minnesota’s sixth largest employer, the UMN’s impact translates into jobs and economic activity statewide.  The University grants roughly 16,000 degrees each year. In Minnesota alone, more than 225,000 U of M graduates go to work as community leaders; health professionals; teachers and counselors; scientists and researchers, business and legal analysts and experts; designers, artists, and architects; executives and entrepreneurs; engineers and builders. Because of this skilled workforce, Minnesota is home to 19 Fortune 500 companies—per capita, that’s second in the nation. As one of the few major public research universities situated in a major metropolitan area, the campus also has unparalleled opportunities for collaboration and partnerships.

As one of an elite few land-, sea-, and space-grant universities that also are world-class research institutions, and one of few major land-grant research institutions situated in a major metropolitan area, the University consistently has advanced its mission with exceptional vigor—distinguished by a comprehensive commitment to integrating public engagement deeply into teaching and learning, research and discovery. The University also strongly embraces equity and diversity as foundational values, and has made both engagement and diversity central to strategic planning across the system and for the institution as a whole. Students on the Twin Cities campus include 0.4% American Indian and native Hawaiian students, 19.5% students of color, and 12.2% international students.  The University ranks ninth nationally for students learning abroad, and offers programs in more than 70 countries. In 2017, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from Insight into Diversity for the seventh year in a row. The University is ranked by Forbes as one of the country’s 20 best educational employers.

Undergraduate Education

The University of Minnesota enrolls over 41,000 undergraduate students. Undergraduate education at U of M strives to provide a distinctive, transformative educational experience of the highest quality within a research university that cares deeply about the quality of teaching and learning, to prepare students for challenging and productive careers, positions of leadership in society, graduate or professional education, and lifelong learning.  A complete list of undergraduate majors and colleges may be found here.

More information about undergraduate education may be found on the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education, here. Priority initiatives focus on developing excellence in arenas that will help U of M attract and retain the best students, while creating a distinctive educational program that will graduate students who can solve problems, communicate effectively, think critically, and have the knowledge and skills to be productive life-long learners, leaders, and global citizens.

Graduate and Professional Education

Valued as key contributors to the scholarly community, there are more than 16,000 graduate and professional students enrolled at the University of Minnesota, including 12,000-plus in more than 130 research-based master’s and doctoral programs and more than 4,000 in professional degree programs in law, education, dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health, social work, and veterinary medicine. A complete list of graduate programs, certificates, and professional degrees can be found here. The University of Minnesota Twin Cities has a geographically diverse graduate and professional enrollment and ranks 21st as a destination for international students in the United States, with 7,212 such students from over 130 countries.

The University  has Minnesota’s only veterinary, pharmacy, public health, and dental colleges and produces over 70 percent of the state’s new physicians. In 2015, administrative support for graduate and professional education was realigned to recognize the distinct educational mission of each postbaccalaureate community. Detailed information on the new organizational structure can be found here.

Research and Scholarship

The more than 4,000 faculty at U of M include members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine, plus the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, among other prestigious bodies. Current and former faculty have won Guggenheim Fellowships, MacArthur Fellowships, and Nobel Prizes. The UMN ranks 8th among public universities in research spending, with just under $1 billion in research expenditures.  In 2018, researchers at the U of M were awarded a record $793 million in external research funding – the highest amount in the University’s history.

The institution is a patent powerhouse – U of M faculty led Forbes magazine to name Minneapolis one of the top 10 innovative cities in the USA. The University launched 13 startups in 2018 and signed a record 230 new licensing deals and 85 Minnesota Innovation Partnership agreements.

The University long has been a hub for research collaborations with private and public partners from across many sectors, and has placed major emphasis on leveraging its breadth and depth toward transdisciplinary research collaborations. University and industrial researchers have joined forces to tackle challenges including securing a sustainable global food supply, finding new treatments for brain diseases, advancing robotic technology, purifying waters affected by mining and agricultural runoff, and cancer treatment and prevention. Studies in such areas as animal behavior and ecology, anthropology and archaeology, and physics and astronomy take faculty and students to every corner of the globe.

As a strategic planning priority, the University is implementing new strategies to engage interdisciplinary teams of faculty, students, and community partners in collaborative research addressing the most significant problems of Minnesota and the world. Through the Provost’s Grand Challenges Research Initiative, the University has made internal investments to seed and foster high-potential collaborations in five grand challenges areas of special focus. An overarching goal is to build new institutional pathways and mechanisms for transdisciplinary research, deepening engagement with communities and leading to innovative solutions. Ongoing support for ambitious, high-impact research also ensures that the University brings to Minnesota the best and most productive researchers and scholars across fields of study.


A detailed overview of the University’s annual operating budget of $3.8 billion can be found online here.  Roughly half the U of M budget either goes to sponsored research and educational activities or is self-funding.  Operations funding is less than half the U of M budget.  Operations funding goes to core U of M education, research, and public engagement and has two primary sources: tuition and state appropriations. To produce efficiencies that advance academic excellence, in 2014 the U of M set a six-year goal to cut administrative costs by $90 million and reinvest those savings directly into core mission activities, and that goal was successfully met in 2019.

About President Joan Gabel

Joan T. A. Gabel was named the University of Minnesota’s 17th president by unanimous vote of the UMN Board of Regents in December 2018. She will assume the office on July 1, 2019 and will be the first woman president in the University's 167-year history.

Gabel comes to Minnesota after serving as the executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of South Carolina since 2015.  As the chief academic officer, she had system responsibilities and oversaw the schools and colleges of USC Columbia.  Previously, she served as dean of the University of Missouri’s Trulaske College of Business for five years. While at Missouri, Gabel was named a “shining star” by the Wall Street Journal and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Bunche, Kemper and Holmes-Cardozo awards for excellence in research.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

The University’s flagship Twin Cities campus is in the heart of a dynamic metro area that is a global economic leader, a hub for education and culture, and renowned for its abundant cultural and natural resources. The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro is home to the 4th-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the country as well as thriving entrepreneurial and small-business sectors. Ranked as one of the country’s leading “creative economy” communities, the Twin Cities is renowned for its arts and nonprofit sectors, as well as its many lakes and parks and wealth of recreational and entertainment opportunities. Spanning locations in both Minneapolis and St. Paul, the UMN-Twin Cities straddles the Mississippi River and adjoins a national park.

The University is an anchor institution for a globally competitive region and state with notable strengths in areas critical to today’s knowledge economy—including biosciences, medical devices, and agriculture and food production. The campus is also located in an increasingly diverse region at the heart of an increasingly global Midwest, with eleven federally-recognized tribal nations, the largest urban Native American population in the country, and growing African American, Latino and Chicano, and Asian American populations. The links between Minnesota communities and communities around the world are notable: The Twin Cities now has the largest number of people of Somali descent outside of Somalia and the nation’s largest urban Hmong-American population.

The region’s internationally engaged businesses, small and large arts organizations, non-profits, and multifaceted communities provide unparalleled learning and career opportunities for students, opening windows onto diverse cultures and perspectives and to the intersections between local and global issues.

Greater Minnesota

Economic vitality and richness and diversity of natural resources extend throughout the State.  Forests, fresh waters, and minerals are in abundance, and Minnesota ranks fifth in the country in terms of agricultural receipts.  Growing knowledge centers with important regional economies across Minnesota include Rochester and Duluth.  The University of Minnesota serves a crucial role in economic development (contributing to a growing GDP) as well as environmental protection across this diverse landscape.

Key Opportunities and Challenges for the EVPP

Capitalize on the breadth of UMN research and curricular strengths to sustain and enhance areas of excellence

  • Inspire and support aspirations for core disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and teaching through targeted funding, institutional policies and practices
  • Fully engage the social sciences, arts, and humanities, as well as science and engineering and the professional schools, in addressing critical challenges of the state and society
  • Support and advocate for collaborative resource development aligned with exceptional competitive strengths
  • Recognize value of fully collaborative research and teaching efforts, as well as individual excellence, in promotion and tenure processes and decisions
  • Identify and provide impetus for signal research and educational strengths
  • Promote a culture of innovation, exploration, and collaboration

Advance a 21st-century land-, sea-, and space-grant mission; leverage multi-campus strengths, locational advantages and responsibilities

  • Promote a culture of reciprocal engagement with urban and rural communities of Minnesota
  • Inspire global engagement
  • Foster appropriate and strategic public/private partnerships
  • Enhance the distinctive regional contributions made possible by the UMN multi-campus system

Meet challenges of changing demographics and educational models

  • Help initiate and develop college pathways: vigorous efforts to address MN opportunity gaps and strengthen college readiness and access
  • Develop and implement a system-wide enrollment management plan, with clarified transfer policies and simplified processes
  • Convey effectively the value proposition of the University of Minnesota
  • Develop a more coherent approach to online education, both for the TC campus and for the system
  • Enhance educational outreach, professional development, and service through a variety of appropriate non-degree options and bundled short courses

Recruit and retain outstanding faculty

  • Attract, develop, support, and retain a diverse faculty of field-shaping researchers and teachers
  • Identify and embrace opportunities to increase strength in areas of identified institutional excellence
  • Provide robust opportunities for faculty development and leadership
  • Promote whole-person well-being as foundational to faculty success and foster corresponding support systems to realize that goal

Enhance student experience on all University campuses and support student success

  • Engage undergraduates in the University’s research and discovery mission and provide service opportunities
  • Ensure graduate and professional programs provide students with highly competitive skills for their ongoing careers
  • Expand systemwide support for student mental health and well-being
  • Assure local and global engagement, diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Complete and implement revision of general education requirements on TC campus and articulate with MN State and UMN system

Foster collaborative leadership to support vibrant academic culture and climate

  • Sustain excellence in collaborative academic planning and governance
  • Embrace productive discussion of critical issues in higher education and society relevant to the values, ideals, and responsibilities of the University as a research university, land-, sea-, and space-grant institution, and teaching and learning community
  • Enable processes for collegiate and central academic leadership searches that lead to strong and diverse candidate pools and the hiring of outstanding leaders

Reporting Structure

The University of Minnesota EVPP encompasses the following reporting units:

Central Academic Leadership Vice Provost Units

  • Faculty and Academic Affairs
  • Graduate Education
  • Undergraduate Education
  • Student Affairs

Central Academic Units

  • Academic Health Sciences
  • Extension
  • Global Programs & Strategy Alliance
  • Institute for Advanced Study
  • Northrop
  • Public Engagement
  • University Libraries
  • Weisman Art Museum

Twin Cities Campus Colleges and Schools

  • College of Biological Sciences
  • College of Continuing and Professional Studies
  • School of Dentistry
  • College of Design
  • College of Education and Human Development
  • College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
  • Law School
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • Carlson School of Management
  • Medical School (the vice president/dean reports to the president)
  • School of Nursing
  • College of Pharmacy
  • Humphrey School of Public Affairs
  • School of Public Health
  • College of Science and Engineering
  • College of Veterinary Medicine

Key Responsibilities

The EVPP will be expected to:

In coordination with the University’s senior leadership team, provide academic leadership for the broader University system in the following areas:

  • Academic planning and budgeting, including institutional capital planning
  • Academic technology planning
  • Institutional advancement and fundraising
  • Legislative relations

Provide academic leadership for the Twin Cities campus, including:

  • Oversee and manage academic policy issues
  • Develop and oversee academic policy
  • Ensure faculty development, including promotion, tenure, and recognition (as modified in some instances for faculty represented by bargaining units)
  • Oversee graduate and professional education
  • Manage priorities of the academic units through the strategic planning and budgeting process
  • Recruit and retain outstanding faculty
  • Champion a campus climate that fosters the pursuit of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging
  • Support, articulate and advocate for the values of academic freedom across University constituencies
  • Oversee assessment of collegiate performance
  • Ensure administrative leadership of academic programs
  • Oversee student assessment and program evaluation
  • Coordinate academic programs and academic support units with business and administrative systems
  • Manage and support undergraduate, graduate, and professional education initiatives and programs
  • Hire and review deans
  • Facilitate, nurture, coordinate, and enable the efforts of deans, faculty, staff, and students to meet institutional goals and priorities
  • Ensure that policies and programs are in place to set and achieve academic goals
  • Develop and maintain national and international eminence in education and research
  • Promote and lead the University's academic agenda
  • Communicate the value and return on investment that the University provides to students, families, and to the economic engine of Minnesota
  • Strengthen student access, experiences, and support
  • Facilitate, nurture, and support outreach and engagement advancing and building upon the land-, sea-, and space-grant mission; continue to strengthen culture supporting reciprocal public engagement
  • Nurture and support a strong faculty
  • Plan and maintain the academic infrastructure necessary to achieve the University’s academic priorities
  • Support and promote exchange and collaboration that leverage interdisciplinary strengths and opportunities while also supporting continued excellence of focused disciplinary work

Develop and manage Board of Regents and administrative policies related to matters that fall within the EVPP’s area of responsibility
Perform other responsibilities or duties as assigned by the President

Professional Experience / Qualifications

The successful candidate will be a scholar and leader with a recognized reputation that includes a demonstrated record of collaborative, successful, and exemplary administrative leadership. The University of Minnesota seeks the next EVPP with the following qualifications:

  • A visionary academic leader and experienced administrator who can thrive in a highly diverse and dynamic environment and who shares and reinforces the University’s commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and engaged scholarship
  • An engaging individual with outstanding interpersonal skills and the ability to work positively and effectively with University officials, faculty, staff, students, legislators, corporate partners, community leaders, and the public to build quality academic programs and establish sound policy
  • An energetic, strategic, and visionary leader with a demonstrated commitment to academic excellence and a proven record of inspiring and leading faculty, staff, and students
  • A champion for shared governance, academic freedom, tenure, and other academic values as well as an appreciation for the value brought by diverse perspectives
  • An effective communicator capable of forging strong working relationships with diverse groups in the interest of advancing the University’s strategic objectives
  • A demonstrated promoter of diversity, inclusion, and equity who can work effectively with a culturally diverse student body, faculty, staff, and diverse alumni and stakeholder communities
  • A leader who champions the importance of teaching and maintains a key focus on the student experience being a central institutional priority
  • An advocate for the land-, sea-, and space-grant mission who is committed to supporting first-generation students and to maximizing the combination of student access and success
  • A leader with a broad understanding of multiple and diverse fields across the American research university and the complexity of issues within them, as well as a deep knowledge of the higher education environment in the United States and its evolution in response to emerging knowledge and new technologies
  • A thought leader around academic freedom, liberal education, research and scholarship, inclusion and diversity, and other issues in higher education
  • An innovative administrator who fosters transformational processes and delegates effectively to achieve solutions
  • An inspiring communicator who will express the value of higher education, tenure, and research to audiences who do not have a lived experience or close relationship with the academy
  • An administrator with demonstrated financial acuity and professional and personal integrity


The EVPP should possess an earned doctorate or equivalent and have distinction as a scholar, researcher, and teacher.  The EVPP should also possess academic credentials for an appointment as a full professor at the University of Minnesota commensurate with expectations for a major research university.


The University of Minnesota offers an attractive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with the successful candidate’s background and experience.

Nominations and applications

The priority deadline for the submission of applications is Friday, July 12, 2019. Review of applications for the position will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled.   Applications should include 1) a detailed CV and 2) a letter of interest that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described above, as well as the applicant’s motivation to apply.  PDF is the preferred version of submission of documents.  To ensure full consideration, inquiries, nominations, and applications should be submitted electronically, in strict confidence, to: Josh.Ward@KornFerry.com

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