February 26, 2020

SEC Headquarters Serve as Host for Recent SEC Provosts Meeting

Provosts recently visited the Southeastern Conference offices in Birmingham, Alabama.
Provosts recently visited the Southeastern Conference offices in Birmingham, Alabama.

By: SEC Staff
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)

On college campuses around the country, senior academic administrators, often called provosts, are responsible for the academic mission of the institution. Their exact responsibilities will often vary, but collectively for the Southeastern Conference (SEC), they are torchbearers for all things academic and faculty related. SEC Provosts are also the critical link between the Conference office and on-campus leaders from a variety of units.

As the unique academic focus of the SEC has evolved since the SEC Academic Consortium was incorporated in 2005, the SEC Provosts have adjusted in lockstep. Currently, they serve as arbiters of the SEC Academic Leadership Development Program, the SEC Faculty Achievement Awards, and the SEC Faculty Travel Program, among other SEC activities.

Recently they met in Birmingham at the SEC headquarters to discuss the SEC’s academic messaging strategy, Conference-supported programs, and areas of potential growth among their universities. Although the constituency has met regularly for years in Atlanta, this gathering marked the first visit to the SEC offices. Future meetings will rotate between the 14 member campuses during each fall semester.

“It’s always very useful to get together with my provost colleagues at other universities – particularly in the SEC where we have several things in common,” said Dr. Joe Glover, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Florida. “We face common problems and have common opportunities and common goals. The opportunity to have face-to-face dialogue and explore in-depth over the course of the day is really valuable to me.”

One impetus for the Birmingham meeting was to have a dialogue with SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. While the meeting agenda included numerous topics, conversations with Sankey featured a review of the development of the SEC’s academic endeavors, SEC office operations, and the SEC Network. Additional provost discussions matched the wide scope of their university duties, ranging from recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority faculty to further development of department chairs and heads.

“I was excited to hear from Commissioner Sankey, to understand his vision for the Conference,” said Dr. Stacia Haynie, Executive Vice President and Provost at Louisiana State University. “I think for each of us to be able to articulate the student experience within the SEC is always critical. Ultimately, we’re ensuring that the academic experience of our students is equal to – if not better than – the athletic experience that we provide.”

The SEC Provosts also meet via conference call each summer as needed and in conjunction with national meetings such as the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities and the Association of American Universities.