Provost election: Three candidates to contest for position

In the first ever all-female lineup, Professors Linda Doyle, Linda Hogan, and Jane Ohlmeyer have been confirmed as candidates for the position

Shortly after noon today, College published the list of successfully nominated candidates seeking to become the next provost of Trinity, with an entirely female lineup for the first time in the university’s history. 

Three Trinity academics have been nominated: Professors Linda Doyle, Linda Hogan, and Jane Ohlmeyer.

The candidates were announced following an interview process, carried out by an interview committee chaired by Professor Rose Anne Kenny. Having been approved by the committee, each of the candidates also secured nominations from at least 12 members of the electorate in order to make it onto the ballot.

All nominations this year are women. In Trinity’s over 400 year history, the role of provost has exclusively been held by men.

The campaign period for the position officially begins today, and will run until April 7. 

The campaign “Kick-off Meeting” will be held on Monday February 8 at 6pm, where the Registrar will open the meeting and each candidate will have 6 minutes to address the College staff. The order in which candidates speak will be chosen by lot. 

Current Provost Patrick Prendergast’s term in the position will end on 31 July 2021, after 10 years in the position.

Among the nominated candidates is Professor Linda Doyle, who 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.

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.

The final candidate, 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”.

Voting for the provostial position will be held online this year through an “e-voting” format. Only members of the electorate can vote in the Provost elections. 

Voting will take place on Saturday April 10, with the eligible electorate expected to be around 850 people.

Dr Sarah Alyn-Stacey, an Associate Professor in the Department of French who had in December announced her intention to apply for the position has not made it onto the final list of candidates.

There are no candidates who do not currently hold positions within Trinity.

Speaking to Trinity News, Ohlmeyer said she was “so honoured to ask the Trinity community to elect me as their next Provost”.

“I’ve chosen ‘Empowering Trinity’ as the hallmark of my Provostship because I want to bring focus back to people – our exceptional staff, students and alumni – who need to feel inspired, valued and consulted as the University changes. Only together will we unlock Trinity’s full potential,” Ohlmeyer said.

Trinity News has contacted Professors Linda Doyle and Linda Hogan with a request for comment.

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.