As The Setonian reported online on April 29, Joseph Marbach, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, is one of four finalists for the provost position at LaSalle University in Philadelphia.
Marbach confirmed he would be looking to fill the position at LaSalle saying he didn’t necessarily put himself on the market, but that he targeted the position. Marbach is an alumnus of LaSalle University, sparking his interest in the position.
“This was the only place that I applied and it was really because I saw it as a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Marbach said.
An advertisement was placed in the Chronicle of Higher Education in December and Marbach applied around that time. He didn’t hear back from the school until the beginning of March, where he met with a representative from a search firm in Philadelphia whom conducted a preliminary interview at a neutral site.
“They handed me a questionnaire with 10 questions and gave me about 20 minutes to think out my answers and then videotaped the responses,” Marbach said. He credited his ease to frequent contact with the media while here at Seton Hall.
Marbach visited LaSalle University on April 8 and 9. While there he met with many different representative groups from the university, including the general public and students.
“The students were very well prepared,” Marbach said. “They asked some tough questions about why I was interested in the position, what I could bring to the position and what I could do to help students from their prospective to make sure LaSalle continues to be a strong school.”
Marbach said the best question he was asked during his visit was actually from a student about his fondest memory of attending LaSalle University.
“It really sparked my approach towards higher education,” he said. “LaSalle promoted or tried to incorporate how you give back to the community and how you are a member of the community. It’s all about public education and how we can better serve the public.”
LaSalle University is undertaking some of the projects that Seton Hall has already established, including a division of continuing education and professional studies and online graduate education programs.
Marbach feels he can assist LaSalle University with their similar endeavors.
The search committee of LaSalle University is meeting this week to narrow down the candidates to two, whom will visit the school again before a final decision is made.
In the event that Marbach is chosen as the next provost of LaSalle, the College of Arts and Sciences will undergo the same process it did four years ago when looking for a new dean. An acting or interim dean will first be appointed by the provost of Seton Hall, a search committee will be formed who would screen candidates and place an advertisement for the position. The committee would then identify three candidates to bring to campus and go through the day and a half visiting process.
“I’m not anxious to leave, I’m very happy here in Arts and Sciences and I think the college is really poised to take the next step,” Marbach said.
He said the recent reorganization plan that was plan will help minimize budget impacts on the college and pointed out that it is greatly supported by the faculty.
“If I don’t get the job at LaSalle I’m happy to stay here and keep it moving forward,” Marbach said. “And if I get the job at LaSalle and decide to leave I know whoever replaces me is going to be in a really good position to continue with the momentum it has. I’m in a win-win situation in a lot of ways.”
Stephanie Bower can be reached at email@example.com.