College of Design and UO Libraries Leadership Searches Launched

October 16, 2019

Dear University of Oregon Faculty and Staff,

I hope your fall term is going well and that you are settling in with students back to campus. I am sure everyone is busy dealing with the fall rush that we all know happens this time of year.

I am launching two national searches this month for key academic leadership positions: dean of the College of Design, and vice provost and university librarian. While these searches officially launch this term, the next few months will be dedicated to recruiting and building the candidate pools. Thus, interviews and campus visits will likely not take place until late winter or early spring term. My hope is to have these new leaders on campus by July 1, 2020.

School of Music and Dance Dean Sabrina Madison-Cannon will chair the College of Design search committee, while Clark Honors College Dean Gabe Paquette will chair the UO Libraries search committee.

Both committees will work closely with WittKieffer, the executive search firm we have hired to help with these external searches. Each of the committees are comprised of UO faculty, staff, and students with integral knowledge of the respective units. That, along with the experience of the WittKieffer team, puts the university in a strong position to find the right candidates for these critical roles.

Transition in leadership can sometimes create anxiety or uncertainty. But I am excited about the prospect of developing a highly qualified and diverse candidate pool for each of these jobs. As we enter the phase of hosting finalists for on-campus interviews, there will be an opportunity for you to meet each of them and provide feedback.

You can find more details about each search on the provost’s website.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the great jobs that both College of Design’s Laura Vandenburgh and UO Libraries’ Mark Watson are doing as interim deans. They continue to provide leadership, guidance, and a steady dose of teamwork in their approach, and I am enjoying our work together very much.

If you have any questions about these searches, please reach out to me or the committee via

Best wishes,

Patrick Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President