William Harris, who in September 2005 accepted an offer to be the university’s new provost and vice president for academic affairs, has withdrawn his agreement to take the position, Cal Poly President Warren Baker said in a recent e-mail to the Cal Poly faculty.
Harris was scheduled to begin in July 2006, succeeding Paul Zingg, who, in 2004, became the president of California State University, Chico in 2004. The interim provost is Robert Detweiler.
“While I believe this was a difficult judgment, he has concluded that his long-term professional interests require this decision,” Baker said in the e-mail.
“After further visits to campus this (past fall), he concluded that his experiences and aspirations to be involved with major research enterprises were ultimately not a good fit with the provost’s position.”
According to Baker, Detweiler has agreed to continue executing his current duties as interim provost and academic vice president.
“Under (Detweiler’s) continued leadership, I expect Cal Poly to continue to thrive and I urge you to give him your full support,” said Baker in the e-mail.
According to the e-mail, Baker has asked the Advisory Committee that originally contacted Harris concerning the position, to resume a search for a new provost.