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Finalists for USU Executive Vice President and Provost to Visit Campus

Friday, Sep. 08, 2017

Old Main building at Utah State University
Dr. Paul W. Layer

Dr. Paul W. Layer

Dr. Laura Woodworth-Ney

Dr. Laura Woodworth-Ney

Dr. Douglas A. Freeman

Dr. Douglas A. Freeman

Three final candidates for the position of Utah State University executive vice president and provost have been invited to visit the northern Utah campus for interviews in September and October.

“We are excited to bring to campus three outstanding candidates for this important leadership role,” said Committee Chair Joseph P. Ward, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “A committee from all areas of campus worked hard to narrow the competitive pool of candidates. We encourage all members of the campus community to be invested and engaged as we proceed with the search process.”

Candidates (in order of appearance) and the dates of their visits are:

Wednesday, September 20
Paul W. Layer
Dean, College of Natural Science and Mathematics
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Open forum: 4-5 p.m., Eccles Conference Center, Rm 201/203
Reception to follow

Monday, September 25
Laura Woodworth-Ney

Executive Vice President and Provost
Idaho State University
Open forum: 4-5 p.m., Perry Pavilion, Huntsman Hall, Rm 407
Reception to follow

Wednesday, Oct. 18
Douglas A. Freeman
Dean, Western College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Open Forum: 4-5 p.m., Perry Pavilion, Huntsman Hall, Rm 407
Reception to follow

Layer has been the dean of the College of Natural Science & Mathematics since 2009 and has been with the University of Alaska Fairbanks since 1989 when he was hired as an assistant professor in the Department of Geology & Geophysics and the Geophysical Institute. He served as department head/chair for the Department of Geology & Geophysics from 1995 to 2003 and then again in 2007.

As a geochronologist, Layer maintains an active research program that focuses on the use of the 40-argon /39-argon dating technique to investigate geological and geophysical problems in Alaska and elsewhere.

Layer received a bachelor’s in geology from Michigan State University and a master’s and doctorate in geophysics from Stanford University. He spent three years as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, Department of Physics.

Woodworth-Ney has served as Idaho State University's executive vice president and provost since 2016.  Previously, she served as the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs and as ISU’s associate vice president for Academic Affairs. She has also served as the chair of the Department of History and co-director of Women Studies.

Woodworth-Ney is nationally active on topics related to higher education and access and is Idahos representative on the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s Academic Forum.  She chairs ISU’s Institutional Effectiveness & Assessment Council (IEAC) and is responsible for ISU’s regional accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Having been at ISU since 1999, Woodworth-Ney has authored more than 30 articles, book reviews and scholarly essays, as well as three books (several co-authored). She earned a bachelor’s in English from the University of Idaho and a doctorate in American history and public history from Washington State University.

Freeman’s career spans more than three decades with experience as a veterinary practitioner, a faculty member in both academic and clinical science department and an administrator. He has worked in academic institutions in the United States as well as overseas. His experience also includes private veterinary practice and veterinary professional services in the animal health industry.

From 2001 to early 2010, Freeman was a professor and head of two departments — Veterinary Diagnostic Services and Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences — at North Dakota State University. During his term he served as director of the NDSU’s Great Plains Institute of Food Safety for two years and led multi-disciplinary research programs in disease surveillance, public health and food safety. He was selected as an American Council on Education Fellow in 2006, and spent one year at the University of Minnesota.

Freeman completed a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, a clinical residency and a master’s in theriogenology at the University of Minnesota. He received a doctorate in reproductive physiology from the University of Idaho and is a diplomate in the American College of Theriogenologists.

The USU executive vice president and provost search committee is chaired by Joseph Ward, dean and professor for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Also serving on the committee are Janet Anderson, USU vice provost; Paul Barr, professor and department head (Civil and Environmental Engineering); David Brown, associate professor (Mathematics and Statistics); Bradford Cole, dean (University Libraries); Kynda Curtis, professor (Applied Economics and Extension); Mike King (associate professor (Wildland Resources); Kimberly Lott, associate professor (Teacher Education and Leadership); Nicholas Morrison, professor and executive associate dean (Caine College of the Arts); and Karen Woolstenhulme, senior lecturer (Management Information Systems).

Utah State University has nine colleges and schools including the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, Caine College of the Arts, Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services, College of Engineering, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources, College of Science and School of Graduate Studies.

For more detailed information about the candidates, including letters of application, visit the USU Provost Search Website.

Contacts: Joe Ward, Committee Chair and Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences,, 435-797-1195
Eric Warren, USU Public Relations and Marketing,, 435-881-8439

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