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Launching the national search for the next UW provost

For more than four years, Mark Richards has served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs with distinction. As I shared at the time of his announcement that he would step down at the end of his term, our entire University owes Mark a debt of gratitude for his excellent work and impact as provost. He has been a champion for research and discovery, equity and inclusion, and the transformation of some of our most critical infrastructure for the long-term health of the UW. I thank him for his outstanding service.

As I shared this summer, now is the time to initiate a national search for his successor. Our goal is to welcome our new provost next summer, prior to the start of the 2023-24 academic year.

Last week, I officially charged a committee of faculty, staff and students — chaired by Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering & Microbiology Mary Lidstrom and Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs and Professor of Education Ed Taylor — to advise me in a national search to identify candidates for this role, which is the UW’s top academic and budget officer.

In their search for a provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, I have asked them to seek candidates who value our tradition of shared governance and who share our commitment to creating a community that is equitable and inclusive — values that are requirements for world-changing scholarship, discovery, innovation and teaching. Finalists for the position will come to campus to meet with members of our community and talk about their vision sometime in the winter or spring.

The provost’s role touches every part of the University, and we all have a stake in finding the best candidate for the job. I invite you to learn more about the search and stay updated on the process and I welcome your feedback, questions and suggestions at Thank you in advance for working with the committee and me to find the very best candidate for this position.