Provost George McLendon has decided to leave his position after his five-year term ends in June 2015. McLendon is stepping down to concentrate more on teaching and research, according to a March 11 email sent to the Rice community by President David Leebron.

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Provost George McLendon has decided to leave his position after his five-year term ends in June 2015. McLendon is stepping down to concentrate more on teaching and research, according to a March 11 email sent to the Rice community by President David Leebron.

According to a letter sent by McLendon on March 12, the administration’s goals for leadership and entrepreneurship have been underrealized during his time as provost, but McLendon hopes returning to a faculty position will help him to promote his goals in both areas. 

In Leebron’s email Leebron said he hopes that McLendon will continue to help with the promotion of entrepreneurship and research.

“I have enthusiastically endorsed [McLendon’s goals for his return to the faculty],” Leebron said. “[I have] asked George to assume a leadership role in that area in 2015, while also working over the next year to build additional foundations for that effort.”

According to his letter, McLendon chose to concentrate on “energy, bioscience and international strategies” during his time as provost. He said he feels that Rice has taken many steps forward and is seeing a lot of success in those targeted areas. He also said he has enjoyed his involvement in the Freshman Writing Intensive Seminar program. 

According to Leebron’s email, McLendon gave significant notice of his decision to leave the position of provost, which has allowed Leebron time to devise a specific system for the selection of a new provost. First, Leebron plans to appoint a committee of faculty that will formulate a set of priorities for choosing a new provost. This initial committee will also consider potential candidates already at Rice. Leebron then plans to appoint a smaller committee that will use the previously decided upon guidelines to choose a new provost.

McLendon said he has enjoyed his time as Provost, but is excited to get back to teaching. 

“I feel very fortunate to have held this leadership position at Rice,” McLendon said. “I now look forward to returning to the best job in any university — a teaching member of the faculty.”