Provost leaves post, still paid

Greg Kane

Barely a year after accepting the position of provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, Bernice Bass de Martinez will leave office to join a University-funded program in West Africa.

Ric Brown will replace Bass de Martinez for the remainder of the semester, holding the title of Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs In Charge, according to a memorandum from President Donald Gerth distributed across campus Monday.

Gerth told The State Hornet that Bass de Martinez is taking a year-long leave of absence, with pay, to join a higher education training program in West Africa?s Ivory Coast. Her current salary is $13,000 per month, according to the office of Faculty and Staff Affairs.

“She?s not leaving the University,” Gerth said. “She has some responsibilities during the (upcoming) year.”

A tenure-track faculty member, Bass de Martinez will be able to return as a professor once her leave is up, Gerth said. However, her administrative positions could be permanently filled before her return, he said.

“I haven?t had a chance to consult with people on our next step,” Gerth said.

Gerth declined to answer whether the decision to vacate the position was his or Bass de Martinez?s.

Associated Students, Inc. President Artemio Pimentel said Gerth contacted him on Friday regarding the vacated post. Pimentel said she?ll be missed by ASI, adding that he was unsure if she?d be returning.

“I haven?t heard anything about her coming back,” Pimentel said.Gerth said he supports any decisions Bass de Martinez makes in the future.

“I am very supportive of Bernice, and I think that should be clear,” Gerth said.