Provost search committee releases names of final candidates

In an email to the Mason community, Professor Mills Kelly said the four finalists chosen were selected from a group of 12 semi-finalists (photo by Vernon Miles).
In an email to the Mason community, Professor Mills Kelly said the four finalists chosen were selected from a group of 12 semi-finalists (photo by Vernon Miles).

The names of the four finalists to the Provost search process were released in an email announcement to Mason students and faculty late Monday night.

"Over the past six weeks, the search committee reviewed more than 70 applicants for the position of provost," Kelly wrote in the email. "During the holiday break we interviewed 12 semi-finalists. I want to take a moment to thank all the members of the committee for giving up a significant portion of their break for this effort."

Dr. Peter Stearns has served as Mason's provost since 2000, and will step down to join the history department as full-time faculty in June. 

"I’ve been doing this job now for 14 years, a lot longer than I expected, and I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy most aspects of it," Stearns wrote in a blog post on January 12. "It will be quite strange to stop."

The four finalists for the position will be brought to campus in the next couple of weeks for public presentations. Copies of their curriculum vitae will be on reserve in the Johnson Center, and students and faculty are encouraged to send their questions to the search committee at

Brief biographies and their public presentation times and locations are posted below:

Professor Diane Chase

Diane Chase is the Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and a professor of anthropology at the University of Central Florida. She is a also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Chase received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and her research focuses on the ancient Maya of Central America, the rise and fall of complex societies, and mortuary archaeology.

Tuesday, February 4, from 9:00-10:15 in Research I, room 163 

Professor David Wu

David Wu is Dean and the Lee Iacocca Professor in the Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Lehigh University. Wu has been dean of the college since 2004. He received his PhD from Pennsylvania State University and his research is in the are of operations research with specializations in optimization, game theory, and statistical analysis. In addition to his position at Lehigh, he has served as a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Friday, February 7, from 9:00-10:15 in Mason Hall, Meese Conference Room

Professor Suzanne Austin

Suzanne Austin is the Vice Provost for Student and Faculty Success at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, a position she has held since 2011. She received her PhD in history from Duke University and her research focuses on the history of disease in Latin America. Prior to coming to UAB, Austin was a member of the history department and served in various administrative positions at the University of Delaware, including interim dean of the College of Education and Human Development.

Tuesday, February 11, from 9:00-10:15 in Research 1, room 163 

Professor José Bermúdez

José Luis Bermúdez is Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University, a post he has held since 2010. He received his PhD in philosophy from King’s College, Cambridge University and his research is largely interdisciplinary, focusing on points of intersection between  philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience. Prior to coming to Texas A&M, Bermúdez was professor of philosophy, Director of the Center for Programs in Arts and Sciences, and Director of the Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Program at Washington University in St. Louis.

Friday, February 14, from 9:00-10:15 in Research 1, room 163

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