Head of academic affairs out, search for new provost begins


Photo credit: Victoria Becerril

Kianna Hendricks

In the same week Reggie Theus and Brandon Martin were fired, President Harrison announced Dr. Yi Li will no longer be provost.

Provost Li, will become the Executive Special Assistant to the President for International Affairs after three years in the position. Li will assume the new position on July 1 and a nationwide search for provost begins immediately.

“I would like to thank Dr. Li for his leadership as provost during the last three years,” President Harrison said in a statement announcing Li’s new position. “His energy, efforts and expertise were critical as we launched the graduation initiative and expanded our research on campus.”

Li was appointed by President Harrison in 2015, succeeding Harry Hellenbrand, who was provost for 11 years before stepping down to focus on teaching.

As provost, Li oversees academic affairs – including student achievement, scholarships and research. The Division of Academic Affairs is the largest unit inside the university, which includes around 3,000 faculty and staff members and an annual budget of about $280 million. The division includes nine academic colleges, university library, academic support units and six central academic administrative offices.

Li’s new role in international affairs will focus on international partnerships, increasing the number of international students, and joint research and degree programs.

“I very much look forward to working with him in this new capacity,” President Harrison’s statement said.

Li is not commenting at this time.