Wittenberg University is in search of a new provost for the second time in as many years.
Last year, the university’s Provost Search Committee selected Rick Fairbanks — former provost of Northland College in Wisconsin — to begin his tenure in August.
But illness has prevented Fairbanks from taking the post.
“Just before he was slated to come on board he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,” said Jerry Pankhurst, chair of the search committee.
Wittenberg stayed in touch with Fairbanks, who hoped to recover in time to take the post in January, Pankhurst said. However, three weeks ago, Fairbanks informed school officials that he was not responding well to treatment, and would be unable to return.
Mayor Warren Copeland, who is also a professor at the university, is serving as interim provost.