Dear President Cotton,
Thank you for your kind note. Yes, I do agree that it is not the place for a provost to issue a statement concerning his, or her, provostal philosophy. And along those lines, I stepped across a line, albeit an invisible line, by implying that a provost would have a paternal relationship with his, or her, faculty, as such a relationship is reserved exclusively to that of a president. I think I would agree that the role of a provost is really as a servant, or handmaid, to not just the president, but to his, or her, will, be that will clearly known, or only divined through his, or her, force of personality and charisma. Finally, I would wholeheartedly agree that the recent case of Mount St. Mary’s College, where the President exercised his presidential authority to prune an excessively defiant provost from the administrative structure, is indeed an inspiring story.
You have brilliantly clarified the structure, nature, and essence of our working relationship in a way that has really be most helpful as I adjust to this new position. I look forward to our recently un-cancelled Monday morning meeting.
Sincerely, and with gratitude,