At least three of Trinity’s top academics have decided to apply to be candidates in the election for College’s next provost.
Professors Linda Doyle, Linda Hogan, and Jane Ohlmeyer have confirmed to Trinity News their intention to apply to run for the role of provost.
Potential candidates for the position have until December 4 to submit their applications for consideration.
Interviews will take place after the application closing date in December and January, and are to be carried out by an interview committee chaired by Professor Rose Anne Kenny.
Following the interviews, a list of candidates will be forwarded to the Steering Committee who will then invite these candidates to seek 12 nominations from the electorate in order to have their names on the ballot.
In Trinity’s over 400 year history, the role of provost has exclusively been held by men.
Professor Linda Doyle, one of the three currently known to be putting her name forward, was until recently Trinity’s Dean of Research, a role that she held since January of 2018.
She is Professor of Engineering & the Arts, Computer Science and was the founding Director of the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centre CONNECT.
Doyle’s profile on the Trinity website notes that she “has always taken a strong role in promoting women in Engineering & Computer Science”, stating that she has been involved in a number of initiatives promoting the involvement of women in science such as Girls in Tech, Teen Turn, and HerStory.
She is currently a member of the National Broadband Steering Committee in Ireland, and is Chair of the Ofcom Spectrum Advisory Board in the UK.
Professor Linda Hogan is a former Vice Provost of Trinity and currently holds the role of Professor of Ecumenics.
She spent five years as Vice Provost and Chief Academic Officer, with her Trinity profile stating that she “coordinated strategic planning, and had responsibility for the direction and quality of research, undergraduate and postgraduate education and the student experience”.
Her research interests are primarily in the areas of inter-cultural and inter-religious ethics, social and political ethics, human rights and gender.
Hogan has been a member of the Irish Council for Bioethics and has been a Board member of the Coombe Hospital, Science Gallery and Marino Institute of Education. She has also done consultancy work for a number of national and international organisations, helping them to develop “ethical infrastructures”.
In 2013 it was reported by multiple media outlets that Hogan had been nominated for the role of cardinal within the Catholic church, having been put forward by Professor of Moral Theology at Boston College, Fr James Keenan SJ. Had she been appointed, she would have become the church’s first female cardinal.
Professor Jane Ohlmeyer is the Erasmus Smith’s Professor of Modern History and has run for the position of provost once before, coming in second to the current provost, Patrick Prendergast, in the 2011 election for the role.
Ohlmeyer is the current chair of the Irish Research Council, a role she has held since 2015. She was president of the Irish Historical Society from 2003 to 2005, and College’s vice-provost for global relations from 2011 to 2014.
She has served as a trustee of the National Library of Scotland and the Caledonian Research Foundation, was a member of the Council of the Royal Historical Society, President of the Irish Historical Society, and was a non-executive director of the Sunday Business Post.
In her 2011 campaign Ohlmeyer argued that Trinity needed greater financial autonomy from the government and private funding. With the higher education funding issue still hanging over Irish politics the issue of Trinity’s financial future is likely to once again feature in the campaign for provost.
The term of office for the current provost, Patrick Prendergast, expires at the end of this academic year on 31 July 2021.
Once the interview committee has approved its chosen candidates the formal campaign period will run from 5 February to 7 April 2021.
The electorate is made up of full-time academic staff who have been in post for at least 12 months on the date of the election. Certain part-time members of academic staff are also eligible to be members of the electorate along with some student representatives.
Consideration has been made on a change to College’s Statues that would allow voting for the election to take place electronically if needed.
The election will take place on Saturday, 10 April 2021.
The name of the elected candidate will go to Board for approval and the new Provost will take up office on 1 August 2021.
The provost is College’s chief officer and is responsible for academic, administrative, financial and personnel affairs.
They chair several governing bodies within Trinity, including Board, University Council, and the Finance Committee.
Additional reporting by Jack Kennedy, Shannon Connolly, Audrey Brown, Kate Glen, and Patrick Coyle.
Trinity News’ coverage of the application process for provost will be updated as more applicants emerge. Prospective applicants can contact Trinity News at [email protected]