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April 18, 2007
Following the flow of the academic year, spring is the time that many universities launch search processes for senior academic and administrative positions. For John Frederic, University executive vice president and provost, this spring has presented potential career opportunities with other universities.
Frederick, 49, has long been open about his desire to explore different career opportunities, and has acknowledged this may mean eventually leaving Nevada. He recalls a discussion with University President Milt Glick earlier this year in which they discussed the "next stage in my career evolution."
"Milt was and has continued to be very supportive, and I'm grateful for his encouragement," says Frederick. "This University has been a great place for professional and personal development. I'm honored to be considered for leadership positions by other universities."
Frederick interviewed for positions at other two universities last spring before deciding to step aside and not continue in the second of two search processes.
Media reports this week note that Frederick is one of four finalists for the position of chancellor, the equivalent of president at Nevada, or Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
He is also being considered for positions at other institutions, however declines to name them noting that he wants to respect and follow the communication processes established by those institutions' search committees.
"John is an award-winning professor and an experienced administrator, and offers impressive educational credentials," says Glick. "He has served the University in an extremely valuable way, and the University is indebted to him for this. We all want what is best for John's career, as well as what is best for his family. If an opportunity with another university comes through for John, I would support him in making that career step."
Does all this mean Frederick is leaving? Not necessarily. However, he has apprised President's Council members, the deans and others on campus about his candidacy at other universities.
A native of San Antonio, Texas, Frederick earned his bachelor's degree from Princeton and his master's and doctoral degrees from Harvard, all in chemistry. Following a three-year postdoctoral research appointment at the University of Washington in Seattle, Frederick joined the chemistry faculty of Nevada in 1988, and became chair of the chemistry department in 1999.
His research interests have been in the area of computational molecular dynamics, with a special emphasis on the study of molecular vibrations and structural rearrangements induced by the absorption of light. His work has appeared in some 50 articles in chemical physics literature and has been funded by more than 15 external grants totaling over $2.7 million. He created the University's chemical physics program and helped establish an undergraduate research program in chemistry.
Frederick was named executive vice president and provost in 2001. As provost, he is the University's chief academic officer, responsible for the academic mission, including oversight of all the colleges, outreach programs in adult and continuing education, and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.