Finalists for Purdue provost to hold campus forums

WEST LAFAYETE, Ind. − The three finalists in the search for Purdue University's next provost have been announced. Each of the finalists will hold open forums on campus next week, according to Purdue.

The search committee has reviewed 10 applicants and selected the following three finalists for the position:

  • Eric Barker, the Jeannie and Jim Chaney Dean of the College of Pharmacy

  • Marion Underwood, Dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences

  • Patrick Wolfe, the Frederick L. Hovde Dean of the College of Science

So far, the search has consisted of seven "listening sessions" and other methods of feedback from faculty, students and staff through emails, surveys and anonymous input.

The person selected will succeed current provost Jay Akridge, who has served in the position since July 2017. Akridge will step down at the end of 2022 to take back up his faculty position in the College of Agriculture.


Open forums where each of the candidates will provide presentations and answer questions will be held from Dec. 7-9 in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall. The forums will also be livestreamed.

Barker's forum will take place from 10:45-11:45 a.m. on Dec. 7 in Fowler Hall.

Wolfe's forum will be from 10:45 -11:45 a.m. on Dec. 8 in Fowler Hall.

Underwood's forum will be from 10:45-11:45 a.m. on Dec. 9 in Fowler Hall.

The livestreams for each candidate forum can be found at the Office of the Provost website.

The candidates

According to Purdue, "A webpage has been set up to capture information related to the provost search. Following the candidate forums, recordings of each will be made available on the webpage, and the campus community will have an opportunity to provide feedback through a survey. More information on the survey will be shared soon."

Barker is the Jeannie and Jim Chaney Dean of the College of Pharmacy and professor of medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology at Purdue University, according to Purdue.

"He previously served as associate dean for research in Purdue’s College of Pharmacy since 2010," a release from Purdue says. "Barker joined Purdue in 1998 after earning his PhD in pharmacology from Vanderbilt University and completing postdoctoral research at Vanderbilt and Emory universities.

"He is a member of several professional associations that include the American Pharmacists Association, Society for Neuroscience, and American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, where he has served in leadership positions for the Neuropharmacology Division."

Underwood is the Dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences at Purdue University and Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences.

"She joined Purdue in August 2018 from the University of Texas at Dallas, where she served as dean of graduate studies and associate provost," according to Purdue. "Underwood graduated from Wellesley College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1986. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from Duke University in 1987 and 1991, respectively.

"Underwood began her professional career in 1991 as an assistant professor of psychology at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, where she earned tenure before moving to the University of Texas at Dallas in 1998."

Wolfe is the Frederick L. Hovde Dean of the College of Science and the Miller Family Professor of Statistics and Computer Science at Purdue University.

"He was named dean in 2017 after serving as professor of statistics and computer science and EPSRC Established Career Fellow in the Mathematical Sciences at University College London," according to Purdue. "Wolfe joined the faculty of University College London in 2012 after teaching at Cambridge and then Harvard. Wolfe graduated from the University of Illinois in electrical engineering and music in 1998, with a 2003 doctorate from Cambridge, where he held a National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship."

This article originally appeared on Lafayette Journal & Courier: Finalists for Purdue provost to hold campus forums