Provost finalists will participate in campus forums

David Blackwell

By Will Wright

[email protected]

University President Eli Capilouto announced Monday afternoon that the two finalists in UK’s search for a new provost will begin meeting with campus constituencies and speak to students and staff at public forums on Thursday and Friday.

Dean David Blackwell from the Gatton College of Business and Economics and Dean Tim Tracy of the College of Pharmacy will speak from 3 to 4 p.m. and from 4 to 5 p.m., respectively, in the M.I. King Library on Thursday, according to Capilouto’s campus-wide email.

The candidates will also speak in the UK Chandler Hospital Pavilion A Auditorium from 8 to 10 a.m. on Friday, according to the email.

Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Nancy Cox and Vice President for Student Affairs Robert Mock led the internal search committee to fill the vacancy left by Christine Riordan’s departure to Adelphi University.

According to an email from Cox and Mock from Jan. 22, nine UK employees had sent their qualifications to the search committee by late last month.

Tracy and Blackwell will be asked to speak about their own qualifications for the job and vision for the future of UK, according to Capilouto’s email.

“The search committee and I arrived at this decision because both Dean Blackwell and Dean Tracy already are significant leaders on our campus, with strong academic and research backgrounds,” Capilouto wrote in the email. “Both lead thriving colleges that have demonstrated a capacity to adapt in a changing higher education environment. And both have been willing to take on challenging assignments beyond their colleges in service to the entire campus.”

Tracy and Blackwell will take written questions from the audience at the forums, Capilouto’s email read. The forums will also be live-streamed and those watching remotely will be provided with a way to submit queries.

The first provost search committee meeting was held on Jan. 6, after Capilouto announced in December that the search would be for a permanent provost, rather than an interim who could hold the position while a national search commenced.

Tim Tracy 

A native of South Webster, Ohio, Tracy received a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Ohio Northern University. He worked as a pharmacist in Gallipolis, Ohio, then returned to school and earned a Ph.D. in clinical pharmacy from Purdue University.

Tracy worked his way up from an assistant professor to a professor at West Virginia University from 1992 to 2003.

He became a professor at the University of Minnesota in 2003 and rose to department head in 2004.

In August 2010, he began work as Dean of the UK College of Pharmacy.

“(Tracy) is a great mentor,” said David Melanson, director of Alumni and External relations in the College of Pharmacy. “He’s a mentor for so many of us at the College of Pharmacy.”

Tracy has been Melanson’s supervisor for four years.

“Having a supervisor that always has your back … that challenges you … but that always trusts your judgment is the best,” Melanson said. “He’s a tremendous candidate to be the next provost.”

In the midst of a changing curriculum, Associate Dean of the College of Pharmacy Frank Romanelli said Tracy has energized the faculty in how they are approaching the shift.

“Tim is an out-of-the-box, push-the-envelope, take-risks type of guy,” Romanelli said. “He really changed the culture of the faculty … (and) encouraged us to think more boldly about everything we do.”

Tracy had a strong, positive impact on the faculty, Romanelli said, and he thinks Tracy will be a good fit for the provost position.

“I think the attitude for us (at the College of Pharmacy) is we’re happy for him, but we’re going to miss him,” Romanelli said. “I think it’ll be good for the university … (and) spice … things up on campus.”

David Blackwell 

Blackwell received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Tennessee in 1981 and received a Ph.D. in finance, also from the University of Tennessee, in 1986.

Blackwell was an assistant professor of finance at the University of Georgia from 1985 to 1991. He became as associate professor at Georgia in 1991 and served until August 1993.

Blackwell was an associate professor of finance at the University of Houston and Emory University and has authored or co-authored numerous publications on finance and accounting, including the textbook “Financial Institutions, Markets, and Money (10th edition, 2008),” published by Wiley.

His articles were published by a number of leading scholarly journals of finance and accounting, including the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Accounting Research and the Journal of Financial Economics.

He served as the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and as a professor of finance at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School before coming to UK.

In March 2012, he was appointed Dean of the Gatton College of Business and Economics. Blackwell has also served as a professor during this time, teaching classes including finance theory, financial institutions and markets, and corporate financial policy.

Blackwell received the Outstanding Teacher Award from Georgia’s Department of Banking and Finance in 1985-86. In addition, the Journal of Accounting Research recognized him as making the “Most Notable Contribution to the Auditing Literature, 1995-2000.