Sept. 15, 2017 

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to give you a brief update on the University’s search for a Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (SVPAA) and Provost. The recruiting phase of the selection process has been very successful. Targeted advertisements, nominations, and outreach efforts from our consultant, Greenwood/Asher & Associates, have all contributed to a robust pool of qualified candidates.

The search committee recently moved to the evaluation phase of the process, and, after reviewing the candidates’ materials, the committee conducted initial interviews with a large number of strong and diverse candidates. Reference and background checks are now underway for a select number of these candidates.

Given the role of the Provost, I understand some individuals have expressed a desire for more communications about the process and have asked specific questions about the final phases of the search. In particular, several individuals or groups have asked if the finalists will visit campus and meet with larger groups of faculty and other constituents.

I can appreciate everyone’s genuine interest in participating in the selection process, and I know that most public universities, and some private universities, hold open searches. However, as a private institution, the University has determined that it is in Embry-Riddle’s best interests to maintain the candidates’ confidentiality. Based on input from our consultant and several candidates, we know that the strongest candidates – those who currently hold related positions at prominent universities – are reluctant to enter into searches that will be public.

I can assure you that the search committee is being very deliberate in their responsibilities, and, although a majority of the committee members are faculty/deans (which is appropriate for this position), the committee represents the entire University community. Additionally, I will seek input from other small groups during the final phase of the interview process. Notably, and similar to the process used in the presidential search, I have asked the faculty senates at all three campuses to provide representation on a faculty advisory committee that will meet with each of the finalists.

While the search committee members certainly cannot talk about specific candidates, I do know they would be happy to talk about the process we are following, and I believe they all will echo my sentiment that the committee is working hard to identify the best candidates. As a reminder, I have listed the search committee members below:

  • Dr. Ronald Madler, Dean, College of Engineering, Prescott Campus
  • Dr. Jason Ruckert, Assistant Professor, College of Business, and Vice Chancellor of Online Education, Worldwide Campus
  • Mr. Charlie Sevastos, General Counsel, Embry-Riddle
  • Dr. Katariina Nykyri, Professor, Physics, College of Arts and Sciences, Daytona Beach Campus
  • Dr. Robert Owen, Professor, College of Aviation, Daytona Beach Campus
  • Dr. Sathya Gangadharan, Professor, College of Engineering, Daytona Beach Campus
  • Dr. Anke Arnaud, Professor, College of Business, Daytona Beach Campus
  • Dr. Karen Gaines, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Daytona Beach Campus
  • Dr. Randy Howard, Chief Financial Officer, Embry-Riddle, Chair of Search Committee

We will continue to provide updates on our progress via email and the SVPAA & Provost search website ( Should you have any questions or have information you feel needs to be known by the search committee, please feel free reach out to me, or the SVPAA Search Committee Chair, Dr. Randy Howard (386-226-6942 or


P. Barry Butler