UPDATE: Open Forum offers students chance to meet provost candidates

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10/9: TCU has scheduled three community forums for the three candidates for provost.

This will be an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to ask questions of and give feedback on the candidates.

Each will also be asked: Given the current landscape in Higher Education, what are the key challenges and opportunities at TCU? As Provost, how would you help TCU navigate them?

The first forum is 2-3:30 p.m. Thursday, November 15 in the Brown-Lupton University Union (BLUU) Auditorium.

The second forum is 2-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 28 in the BLUU Auditorium.

The third forum is 2-3:30 p.m. Monday, December 3 in the BLUU Auditorium.

10/7: Although names haven’t been released yet, TCU’s search for a new provost is down to three candidates.

The provost, who reports directly to the chancellor, is the university’s chief academic officer. Current Provost Nowell Donovan announced in last spring that he would retire at the end of the 2019 spring semester. 

“Each of the three finalists will have opportunities for campus visits,” said Faculty Senate Chair Ted Legatski. During their time, they will meet with Student Government Association officers, Faculty Senate officers and Staff Assembly officers.

Ted Legatski, Faculty Senate chair. Photo via the TCU Neeley School of Business.

Legatski said an open forum will be announced sometime this week to introduce the candidates and allow each semi-finalist to present and discuss their stance on select topics. The rest of the allotted time will be open for questions and answers. 

Chancellor Victor Boschini said he expects to select the new provost in December. The selection is projected to start sometime in the spring.

Martha Potvin, president of the Association of Chief Academic Officers, provided her insight on what the search committee should look for in a strong candidate.

Martha Potvin, board member of the Assoc. of Chief Academic Officers. Photo via Springfield College.

“TCU is looking for a provost who can provide a clear example through his or her role and be adept at improving the quality, diversity, and success of faculty and faculty work,” Potvin said.

She noted a strong candidate must also display the skills to help students be successful.

Provost Donovan’s successor will focus on helping students graduate and find careers. Their overarching goal will be making the current institution a better place while they are here, Potvin said.

In addition, shared governance plays a large role in decision-making in the provost’s position. This includes having respect for, and following procedures in the faculty handbook, Potvin said. 

The candidate must also display strong leadership skills throughout every department on campus and any issues they have.

Potvin said the qualities of a strong candidate should indicate a broad view of the different types of disciplines covered at the institution. They must understand the work of faculty and the challenges faced by students during their time at the institution.

Previous experience and a commitment to diversity in prior roles are necessary qualifications that are looked for in a strong candidate.