senior academic administrator at many institutions of higher education

In the United States, the Provost is the chief academic officer of a college or university. Different schools have different rules for what the Provost does, but most Provosts deal with issues about hiring and dismissing professors and giving out tenure, handling complaints about academic programs, and deciding what the general academic policies are for the school. In other countries, the Provost is sometimes the leader of the whole college or university.