I Do Not Know What The Provost Does And I Am Afraid To Ask By President Mark Schlissel

I have been here at the University of Michigan for three years now, and in that time I’ve learned quite a bit. For example, I know all the best trees for climbing, and can now get to Sparrow Market without using Apple Maps. But one thing I do not know is what the provost of the University of Michigan does. I know I should, because Mary Sue told me it was important. But for the love of God I cannot remember what she said.

What I am really unsure about is how much power they have. Does the provost have more power than I do? Honestly if you told me yes I would have no choice but to believe you. I would actually be a bit relieved, considering I really did not know how much work this whole “president” thing was going to be.

My best guess right now is that the provost is in charge of the buses here, is that correct? I know they don’t drive them. I’ve been on the buses. I’m not that obtuse. But I think there’s a chance maybe they make the schedules, because I know that’s not one of my jobs.

It’s also occurred to me that the provost could be in charge of the kitchen, maybe just the one in South Quad or maybe all of them. I know they’re not cooking most of the food—that’s the cook, obviously. But he might be in charge of ordering the food and supervising its delivery. I know a job like that takes a lot of organization and hard work, which I assume are qualities required of a provost.

To be quite honest, I interviewed the interim provost for his position. I sat in that room ecstatic that I would finally find out what the provost does. I asked leading questions, hoping to get some kind of an explanation of what a provost is, but what I got was diddly squat. I’m starting to think that no one really knows what they’re supposed to be doing.

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