Steven Runge was approved Friday morning to be the provost for the University of Central Arkansas permanently.
“It’s very humbling for me to be recognized by the faculty senate and by the president when there are so many other people doing great things at the university,” Runge said in a news release Friday afternoon.
Faculty Senate President Kevin Browne said in email faculty support keeping Runge in the position. President Tom Courtway also spoke highly of Runge during a special-called teleconference for trustees Wednesday. He recommended the board approve Runge.
Runge served as interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs for the past year. He started working for UCA as an assistant professor in 1991. He was appointed as interim chair of the Department of Biology in 2003. In 2004, he became chair and earned the rank of professor, according to a news release. In 2009, he was appointed as interim dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and became dean of the college in July 2010.
As provost and vice president for academic affairs, Runge oversees each of the university’s six academic colleges, the graduate school, the Norbert O. Schedler Honors College and other university divisions, according to the release.
Courtway praised Runge during the meeting, according to the release.
“He’s done his job admirably, honestly and to the best of his ability, and I think he possesses all the qualifications that this university needs for the position of provost and vice president of academic affairs,” Courtway said in a news release. “In short, in my opinion, he has earned the job.”
Courtway talked earlier in the week with the Faculty Senate about his proposal and said faculty approved of Runge. Faculty supported his decision, according to the meeting's agenda.
Runge takes the position even though Courtway did not seek other applicants. He said in the release that Runge was vetted for the job by serving 367 days as interim.
In email, Browne said faculty support Courtway’s decision but that the process of picking Runge should not set a precedent.
“The Faculty Senate strongly and unanimously supports President Courtway’s assessment of Steve Runge’s performance and qualifications,” Browne said. “Under normal circumstances, leadership and academic appointments should be subject to the proper processes and procedures, including thorough searches. With that caveat, I repeat that the Faculty Senate unanimously supports the recommendation that President Courtway has made today.”
Browne said faculty supported Runge because he is the best person to lead UCA through the Higher Learning Commission visit coming this year. UCA is also working to implement a new core for class requirements. “That continuity is crucial at this time,” Browne said.
Any search likely would have ended with Runge, he said.
Interim Provost Steven Runge should be the permanent provost for the University of Central Arkansas, according to an agenda for a special-called Board of Trustee meeting today.
President Tom Courtway will make the recommendation to the Board of Trustees at 11 a.m. today in a teleconference meeting.
Runge served as interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs for the past year.
"He served professionally and with great insight into the needs of the Division of Academic Affairs and the University of Central Arkansas," according to the agenda for the meeting.
Courtway has talked with the Faculty Senate about his proposal and said faculty approved of Runge.
"After discussion with the members of the UCA Faculty Senate on Feb. 28, 2013, and an expression by the President to the Faculty Senate of the desire to appoint Dr. Runge as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the UCA Faculty Senate concurred with the President’s view and his intent to change of the job title of Dr. Steven W. Runge from Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs to 'Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs,'" according to the agenda.