Lefton says new provost will make things happen

Christina Stavale

President Lester Lefton said university programs and his own job will likely change now that Robert Frank has arrived as the new provost.

“I’m expecting a burst of energy from the provost in the next month,” he said. “There’s a lot of things waiting to happen. My job is going to be, in some ways, more interesting.”

Retention, Lefton said, is both a long and short-term goal for Frank and the university. Frank is putting together a series of initiatives, including a task force to intervene with students who get into academic trouble early on in their first year.

Lefton said he also anticipates new programs and shifting faculty funds to align student interest with community need. He said it is important for students not to take courses in areas they will not get jobs.

For example, he said, alignment with Third Frontier fronts (science, technology, engineering and math) is important because 5,300 jobs in computer-related fields are available in Northeast Ohio alone.

Lefton said changes will not be easy, but rationality and following a set process are important in making the changes.

“The university doesn’t like change,” he said. “Nobody likes change. Change is hard for everybody.”

Contact principal reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected].