Last week, Eastern President David Black announced the appointment of Templeton Honors College Dean Chris Hall as provost.
Hall, a longtime theology professor who became dean of the THC two years ago, will become provost at the end of the academic year when the current provost, David Fraser, officially resigns. Hall will remain the dean of the honors college and an assistant provost will be appointed to help manage the job.
“Once the news came out about Fraser, the president talked to me and talked to the faculty,” Hall said.
“I’m 56 and I’ve got about 14 years of energy left in me,” he said. He decided to accept the offer after asking himself how he could use those years “the most fruitfully and effectively for the university.”
Black announced the appointment several weeks after Fraser’s resignation, without a long and public search.
“Top administrators serve at the pleasure of the president at all schools,” said Dwight Peterson, Bible professor and moderator of the Faculty Senate, who was one of the faculty members consulted about the decision. “We needed a provost, and we needed one quickly.”
The president, trustees, and faculty are a provost’s three major constituencies, he said.
“Chris is well-liked and well-respected by the president, well-liked and well-respected by the trustees, and has much respect from the faculty,” Peterson said.
Hall will continue to teach about one course each semester, including Foundations of Christian Spirituality, one of the most popular courses at Eastern. About 150 students are expected to enroll in the class each spring.
“I’m trying to figure out how many things I can do effectively without doing so many things that I do them badly,” Hall said.
To that end, the assistant provost – whose official title has not yet been determined – will be appointed to deal with some of the provost’s duties. The weight of decisions will remain the provost’s responsibility.
The assistant provost is not likely to be announced soon, Hall said.