Jeff Ollerhead appointed acting provost, vice president academic

Jeff Ollerhead, a professor in the geography and environment faculty, will be serving as Mount Allison’s acting provost and vice-president academic and research. Ollerhead’s term will begin July 1, and he will hold the position for the duration of the 2016-17 academic year. Ollerhead has had ten years of experience as dean of sciences, a position which will be filled by biochemistry professor, Amanda Cockshutt for 2016-17.

According to the Mt. A website, the provost is responsible for “budgets for the academic faculties, the library, administrative and general services, and other academic areas.”

Karen Grant, the current provost, will resign her post effective June 30 and leave the university. Students were informed of these changes in an email from Robert Campbell on April 28.

“As interim provost for the year, my primary goal is to ensure that all necessary processes run smoothly for 2016-17 … and that we continue to pursue a goal of being academically sustainable,” Ollerhead wrote in an email to the Argosy.

Ollerhead said he would like to address whether or not Mt. A’s distribution credit system, which has been part of an ongoing debate at the university, should be changed early on in his tenure as provost.

Ollerhead also included “[completing] the work started by Dr. [Karen] Grant on a plan to increase and enhance student experiential learning at Mount Allison” as one of his top priorities.   

Ollerhead spoke positively about what he has learned while working with three different provosts over his years as dean, including Grant. “I have learned that the role of provost is extremely challenging and that ongoing dialogue with all stakeholders is key,” said Ollerhead. “I have also come to realize that for some decisions, there will always be unhappy stakeholders because in some cases, it is simply not possible to satisfy all stakeholders equally.”

Ollerhead said Mount Allison is “entering a collective bargaining period and negotiations with a number of [its] unions, including the Mount Allison Faculty Association. These discussions will undoubtedly present opportunities to cultivate relationships.”

The selection process to find a permanent provost to replace Grant is set to begin in the fall.

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