New provost role created to reach out to students

Regina Garcia Cano

Timothy Chandler’s tasks in his new position as senior associate provost will be to make the academic experience of students rich and meaningful.

“The Week of Welcome, the undergraduate student experience, the liberal education requirements, all of those things will be part of my responsibility in terms of trying to promote the best possible experience for our undergraduate students,” Chandler said.

Robert Frank, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, said the position of senior associate provost was created to help complete critical tasks that his office was facing. Those assignments include improving students’ success programs and the orientation for first year students, and increasing retention of students.

Frank said Chandler’s first challenge will be to implement the recommendations that the LER core committee will propose his office on Feb. 6. David Dees, assistant professor at the Salem Campus, and Chandler have co-chaired the committee.

“Tim and David Dees have been meeting with the committee that’s been saying how do we make those (Liberal Education Requirements) more interchangeable for students, and so no matter where they go in specialty on their degree they would be able to use those experiences,” Frank said.

The university currently offers over 100 courses that qualify as liberal education requirements. The ultimate goal is to make it easier for students who switch majors to be able to graduate in four years.

Chandler, former dean of the College of the Arts, said the LER core committee will probably recommend three different models on how the LERs might look.

“We want to have those reviewed and have everybody take a look and tell us what they think,” Chandler said.

In order to hear the students’ opinion on the liberal education requirements, the LER core committee will hold three town hall meetings. Chandler said students can also write their opinion on discussion boards on the Web site,

Because it is his responsibility to improve the Week of Welcome and the First Year Experience, Chandler said he would like to shadow a freshman during the fall semester.

The following are the dates of the LER core committee’s town hall meetings:

&bull 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Jan. 23 in Room 204 Student Center.

&bull 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 27 in Room 204 Student Center.

&bull 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 30 in the Kiva. (This will be broadcast to all of the regional campuses)

“I’d like to find a freshman who’d be willing to have me shadowing him so I can find out what their experience is really like,” Chandler said. “I would like to be able to go to class with them, go to the financial aid office, do all the things they do and find out how it works and how it feels like to be a freshman.

“I’m interested in knowing what kind of experience they have because only if I understand their experience can I help improve it.”

The senior associate provost will also have input in the budget of the provost office.

“We are very concerned about what’s happening in the state, and we’ve asked our deans to do a number of models if the state gives us less money, on how we would respond to those internally,” Frank said. “He’ll be part of the team that looks at those and help us define our final strategy based on what we hear over the next six to 10 weeks from the state.”

Chandler will also be in charge of the transition of the Office of the University Registrar from the student affairs office into the academic affairs office.

Frank said Chandler was chosen over other candidates in an internal search that the university conducted. Frank said the now senior associate provost stood out from the rest of the candidates because of his broad knowledge of the university, administrative experience and remarkable reputation.

Chandler will report directly to the provost.

Frank said John Crawford, formerly the associate dean of the College of the Arts, has been named interim dean of the college. The search for a permanent dean will begin in the fall semester.

Contact academics reporter Regina Garcia Cano at [email protected].