Provost Searle will step down, transition to professor June 2021

After five years as provost and executive vice president, Mark Searle will assist in the implementation of new projects

ASU's executive vice president and University provost, Mark Searle, will step down from his position on June 30, 2021 to become a University professor aiding in the implementation of new projects. 

Searle has held the position since 2015, overseeing academics, international projects and aiding faculty in a variety of needs. He holds a professor rank in the School of Community Resources and Development in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions

A search committee co-chaired by Vice Provost Tiffany Ana López and Dean Pat Kenney will pursue an internal search for candidates to fill Searle's vacancy. 

Searle, originally from Canada, has years of previous experience in public service, working as a day camp instructor as an undergraduate and then as a senior policy analyst for the Alberta Department of Recreation and Parks. 

An email from ASU President Michael Crow Wednesday announced the change. Crow said he was "deeply grateful to Mark" for his leadership that has led to "record enrollment, student diversity and retention and graduation rates."

Searle joined ASU in 1995 and was the founding dean of the College of Human Services, has served as provost of the West campus and vice president for academic personnel. He was a leader at the University of Manitoba, has edited several academic journals and has served on a number of boards of directors. 

Before taking the position of provost full time, Searle served as interim for about seven months and was then tasked with creating a three-year plan to increase retention and graduation rates, increase tenure track faculty and increase higher education access for all. 

Over the past several years, enrollment has grown and a number of projects have been started that allow students to advance in their niche of study, things Crow noted in his email to the school community. 

Searle and his wife, Judy, are also the namesake of a graduate scholarship to support doctoral and dissertation research available to students in the School of Community Resources and Development after passage of research defense. 

In addition, the University has been named number one in innovation for six straight years by the U.S. News and World Report, a title President Crow and other University administrators flaunt. 

"Over the last decade and a half, ASU has grown into such a strong community of scholars, educators and public servants that share a common commitment to our charter," Searle told ASU Now, the University's marketing and promotions publication. ASU Now also reported Searle told Crow about his plan to step down in January 2020. 

Provost Searle has been a signatory on several emails to students before the semester began announcing plans and changes to policy and preparation for the coronavirus like the requirement to be tested before move-in, the random testing program and guidance for faculty that was ultimately communicated through school deans. 

Searle said student commitment "has been nothing short of inspiring" and the impact of students is shown in both campus communities and research. 

"Like everyone else, I could not have predicted the effect of the pandemic," Searle told ASU Now. "But the tenacity and resiliency of our students, faculty and staff to persevere has been remarkable."


Reach the reporter at pjhanse1@asu.edu and follow @piperjhansen on Twitter. 

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