Provost Forrest Maltzman will step down from his post leading the University’s academic and research initiatives, according to a University release Thursday.
Maltzman, who has taught at GW for more than two decades but has served in his current role for about three years, will stay in his position until a successor is found. He will take a sabbatical and then return as a political science professor once a replacement is named, according to the release.
Maltzman announced the decision in a letter to faculty and staff, saying it is “the right time” to resign given the University’s recent reaccreditation and the nearing end of the strategic plan in 2021.
“It has been a true privilege to serve with faculty and staff who care deeply about the University’s teaching and research missions and to see the progress we have made together,” he wrote.
Maltzman stepped in as interim provost in January 2016 after the departure of former Provost Steven Lerman, who announced that he would resign the year before. Maltzman took on the position permanently that summer.
Before becoming provost, Maltzman served as the senior vice provost for academic affairs and planning for five years. He also led the political science department from 2008 to 2011.
“Enhancing institutional reputation and research and advancing the mission of increasing access and academic success for students have been my passion,” Maltzman said in the letter. “I know that GW today is a different, and I hope better, institution than it was when I took on a central administrative role in 2011.”
Maltzman’s announcement comes amid a series of administrative departures since University President Thomas LeBlanc arrived on campus in August 2017. Five deans have announced their resignations during that time period, including Jeffrey Akman, the dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the vice president for health affairs, and Blake Morant, the dean of the law school, earlier this semester.
The University has also lost some of its top administrators over the past 18 months, including former Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Peter Konwerski, former Vice President for Research Leo Chalupa and former Senior Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations Matt Manfra.
In his letter, Maltzman said the University has made “significant strides” in improving graduation and retention rates during his tenure, which he said are two of the most important factors in determining a university’s success.
He said GW’s six-year graduation rate has stood at more than 80 percent for five consecutive years, and first-year retention clocked in at 93 percent at the start of last academic year – the highest in seven years. He said GW set an “institutional record” when the four-year graduation rate hit 78 percent last year.
LeBlanc, the University president, said officials are enlisting the help of the firm AGB Search to assist administrators as they launch a national search for a new provost. A search committee will be formed “in the near future,” the release states.
“Forrest has been at my side since my first day at GW, and I am grateful for his wise counsel,” LeBlanc said in the release. “I take comfort in knowing he will only be a phone call away as he returns to that which he loves so much — teaching the next generation of global citizen leaders.”
Nelson Carbonell, the chair of the Board of Trustees, said Maltzman has made the University “stronger” during his tenure.
“Forrest leads with his heart and an understanding of the data and metrics that drive our progress, and his heart loves GW,” Carbonell said in the release.