What does a “provost” do?
Like most colleges, Salt Lake Community College retains a faculty member whose job title is not often seen outside of academic circles.
Dr. Christopher Picard is SLCC’s Provost of Academic Affairs, and he offers a succinct description of what he does for the college.
“Within academic circles, typically the term “provost” is reserved for the chief academic officer, and that’s my function at the institution,” said Picard. “I have primary responsibility for the principle mission of the college, which is the teaching and learning that goes on in the classrooms.”
In SLCC’s organizational hierarchy, his position as provost places him alongside the college’s vice presidents, directly between the school’s president and the deans for each of SLCC’s various departments.
“I am roughly the equivalent of the other vice presidents at the college, with a couple of exceptions. My organization within the college is, depending upon how you look at it, both in numbers of people and in diversity, much larger,” said Picard.
Picard began his academic career as an Air Force officer, and taught at the Air Force Academy. From there, he held high level positions at a number of community colleges throughout the country before coming to SLCC a little over a year ago.
Not many people get to introduce themselves with such a unique title, but Picard finds one other designation to be even more provocative.
“I’m still searching for the job that has the title “grand poobah,”” said Picard.