ANN ARBOR—Gilbert R. Whitaker Jr., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan since 1990, announced his decision to return to the faculty when his current five-year administrative term ends next August.
U-M President James J. Duderstadt said, " It is with a sense of deep appreciation and understanding that I both accept and support his decision.
"As chief academic officer of the University, the provost's role is both important and complex, and Dr. Whitaker has served in this role with great distinction. He has maintained well the tradition of strong academic leadership established by others in this role. Indeed, he has served longer than most of his predecessors.
"The University owes a debt of gratitude to Gil and Ruth Whitaker for their leadership roles. I trust that Gil will have our strong support during his remaining months as provost and our best wishes as he returns to the School of Business Administration later next year. "
Duderstadt continued, " We now must turn our attention to the search for a successor. It is my intent to consult both widely and in-depth with the faculty, both through formal faculty governance bodies and with the various schools and colleges, to design a search process and identify a pool of possible candidates. It would be my hope that we could launch this search early in the winter term with the intent of having a new provost in place by September 1995. "
Whitaker said: " I have enjoyed my 15 years of academic leadership responsibilities at Michigan. I have particularly enjoyed working with the deans and faculty to improve the quality of our excellent educational progress. I look forward to the next chapter in my academic life, whatever shape it takes. "
Whitaker came to the U-M in 1979 as professor and dean of the School of Business Administration. His academic specialty is managerial economics, and he is co- author of " Business Economics: Principles and Cases," a leading textbook in the field.
Before coming to Michigan, he was dean and professor of business economics at the M.J. Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University, and served as associate dean and professor of business economics at the Graduate School of Business, Washington University, in St. Louis. He began his academic career as a faculty member of the School of Business (now the Kellogg School of Management) at Northwestern University.
Whitaker received his B.A. degree in economics at Rice University in 1953, his M.S. in economics at the University of Wisconsin in 1958 and his Ph.D. in economics at Wisconsin in 1961.