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Interim Provost Beth Winkelstein will continue to serve in her role until the search committee concludes its process. Credit: Jesse Zhang

Penn President Liz Magill formed a search committee to select a permanent provost to replace Beth Winkelstein, who is currently occupying the position in an interim capacity. 

The committee, which was announced Tuesday morning, consists of 20 students, faculty members, and staff from across Penn — including Magill — as well as consultants from Isaacson Miller, a leadership recruitment firm. The committee is chaired by J. Larry Jameson, dean of the Perelman School of Medicine and Executive Vice President for the Health System.

"I am pleased to announce the formation of a Consultative Committee for the Selection of a Provost to advise me on this important appointment," Magill wrote in the announcement. 

University spokesperson Ron Ozio said that the committee members are "hard at work" and that it is not yet known when their search for a new provost will conclude.

The provost is the chief academic officer of the University and the president’s second-in-command, tasked with overseeing the administration of student and faculty affairs and working directly with Penn’s 12 deans. Winkelstein, a bioengineering professor, has served as interim provost since July 2021, when Wendell Pritchett took a medical leave of absence from the University. Pritchett returned to Penn as interim president until Magill took office.

“We are joined at the hip in our efforts to move the institution to great new heights,” Magill told The Daily Pennsylvanian in late July, when asked how she views the relationship between provost and president. 

Among the four students serving on the committee are Carson Sheumaker,  the president of the Undergraduate Assembly; and Robert B. Watson, the president of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly. Staff members who will serve include Joann Mitchell, who works in Magill’s office as the senior vice president for institutional affairs and chief diversity officer; and Associate Vice President Pierce Buller, an advisor to Magill.

“I hope to continually steer the committee to prioritize students and student needs during the hiring a new provost," Sheumaker wrote in a statement to the DP. "Through the process, I hope to find candidates who have demonstrated that they are willing to actively meet with all different types of students, solicit student advice and feedback, and take action that betters students across the board.”

In the announcement, Magill urged recommendations and advice for the search to be sent no later than Oct. 14.

The appointment of a new provost will represent another high-profile administrative change at Penn. Magill began her tenure as the University's ninth president on July 1, and has named new vice presidents for alumni relations and finance after the departure of their previous office holders.

On Aug. 30, Winkelstein announced the formation of a committee for the selection of the next vice provost for University Life, who will replace Interim Vice Provost for University Life Tamara Greenfield King. The VPUL committee is accepting applications and nominations for the position until Oct. 20.