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The Sentinel

The Student News Site of John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The Sentinel

The Student News Site of John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The Sentinel

John Jay Finalizes Search for New Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost

Laila Mansour
Office of the Provost In John Jay.

In the end of February, James Cauthern, the Search Committee Chair, announced to the John Jay community via email that the committee had limited their search for the college’s new Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost to three candidates.

The Provost serves as the college’s chief academic officer. As Cauthern explained, “The successful candidate for this critical position will lead the college’s efforts to advance excellence in faculty teaching, research, and scholarship; improve student success; and achieve greater academic and institutional effectiveness.”

The committee began identifying and screening candidates in the beginning of the Fall 2023 semester. The three final candidates were each provided the opportunity to spend a day on campus and present in an open forum of students and faculty. 

Dr. Anthony Carpi, Vice Provost for Research, International Partnerships, & Student Professional Advancement, served on the Search Committee. 

He noted,  “I was thrilled to have the opportunity to interview three outstanding candidates for Provost of John Jay College. It speaks to the impact of the institution that we have leading academics from across disciplines seeking to lead the institution into the future.”

Dr. Lisa Jones was one of the three final candidates selected that presented to an open forum of students and faculty. She previously served in the administration of a variety of institutions throughout New York and New Jersey, including Lehman College. 

The second candidate was Hitesh Rae Kathuria, who, after gaining experience at Indiana University, has since accepted the Provost position at Empire State University.

Ultimately, upon feedback from the Search Committee and attendees of the open forums, President Mason nominated Dr. Allison Pease for the position. 

Dr. Allison Pease currently serves as the Interim Provost at John Jay, and has a wide variety of experience in administration throughout the college. She is a professor in the English Department, formerly serving as department chair in the 2010s. She has also acted as the Director of Gender Studies, Interim Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Associate to the Provost for Faculty, and Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness. 

At the open forums, students and faculty expressed their concerns over student retention rates, experimental learning, online education, hate on campus, and research. 

Cailyn MacLellan, a first-year fraud examination student at the college, is especially interested in seeing the college incorporate more student feedback as they make crucial decisions concerning students.

“There are a lot of challenges confronting public higher educational institutions—declining enrollment and rising student debt come to mind—and with that, moving forward, I would like to see more integrated student feedback, especially in understanding the lived experiences of student bodies beyond the classroom,” said MacLellan

Dr. Patton, the Director of the Honors Program at John Jay, served on the search committee for the provost candidates. 

He asserted that the ideal provost candidate should be informed on what is happening in higher education, be able to develop programs at the college, and understands budgeting. 

“The college is in a tricky budget situation,” Patton explained. 

“All hell broke loose during COVID and the college experienced enrollment decline. A lot of the college’s funding is based on enrollment, and while we got federal funding to close the gap during the pandemic, that funding has recently ended but we still haven’t fully caught back up with admission. So a focus on how you can innovate and support and grow while spending less is crucial,” said Patton.

As Interim Provost, Pease has focused on reducing administrative spending and tightening up the schedule. 

“Say we offer about 2500 courses a semester. Do we need to offer that many courses? What about 2300?” said Pease.

Pease elaborated, “We’re working on making the schedule more efficient. I ask the departments to be thoughtful about what courses they’re scheduling. Do the students need this to graduate? Is this something the students are interested in?” 

Pease also advised that being a part of student government is the easiest way for student voices to be heard by the administration, but would also consider establishing a Provost Council for Student Feedback for more direct interactions. 

The CUNY Board of Trustees will vote on Pease’s nomination on June 12. 

If approved, Pease will replace former Provost Dr. Yi Li, who stepped down in July 2022 after implementing programs at the college such as the LEAP program and mandatory advising for transfer students. 

Until then, Pease will continue to fulfill her role as the Interim Provost. 

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About the Contributor
Laila Mansour
Laila Mansour, Treasurer
Laila Mansour is a sophomore at John Jay College. She is majoring in Forensic Science (BS) and is minoring in English. Laila has previously served as a writer in the Fall 2023 semester and now serves as the Treasurer. At John Jay, she is a part of the Macaulay Honors Program at John Jay and writes for the Macaulay Messenger as well. She also works as a Visit Guide through CUNY Explorers and is a part of the Forensic Science Society, CUNY Inclusive Economy Initiative, and the Arab Student Union. She plans to apply to PRISM, John Jay’s STEM research program, as she continues on her path to becoming a forensic DNA analyst. She has published an article on the Girls Who Code chapter that has opened up at John Jay and looks forward to continuing to bring awareness to STEM opportunities and student achievements as well as bringing the school’s mission of advocating for justice to life through the paper. Laila’s favorite quote is “It takes courage to see the world in all its tainted glory and still to love it” -Oscar Wilde.

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