Provost applications open as change to Statutes to allow electronic voting considered

A new provost is to be elected next year as Prendergast’s term comes to an end

The appointment procedure for College’s next provost, who is due to take up the role next year, has opened, with applications for the role closing on December 4. 

Consideration is underway on a change to College’s Statues that would allow voting for the election to take place electronically if needed.

The term of office for the current provost, Patrick Prendergast, expires at the end of this academic year on 31 July 2021. 

An email circulated to academic and administrative staff this week said that the “process is now underway to appoint his successor”. 

“The appointment of a new Provost is a very significant event in the life of the university,” the email, signed by Registrar and Chair of the Steering Committee Brendan Tangney, said.

The timeline for the appointment process was approved by Board at a meeting earlier in October.

“It is a process which I hope we will all embrace and make time for in our busy lives. The appointment is taking place against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and this will present certain challenges,” Tangney said. 

“A change to the College Statutes to allow voting to take place electronically, if circumstances prevent a physical gathering, is going to the Fellows for Assent.”

“If approved, this will give us a fallback option if the need arises.” 

The new provost will receive a salary of around €200,000, as well as the use of the Provost’s House on campus.

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.  

The formal campaign period will run from 5 February to 7 April 2021. 

The election for the position 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 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. 


In the email circulated to staff, Tangney wrote: “The appointment of the new Provost is a very valuable opportunity which comes around every 10 years. It allows us an opportunity to reflect on, and to take stock of, where we are as a community and an institution and to debate, in the best academic tradition, our vision for the next decade.”

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.

Shannon Connolly

Shannon Connolly is the Editor-in-Chief of the 69th volume Trinity News, and a Senior Sophister student of English Literature and Philosophy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.