Take an active role in your education

The candidates for Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost are coming to Kent State this week and next. They will be available to meet with students. It’s a great opportunity for students to have a chance to take part in the selection process.

So who’s going to go?

Or, perhaps, the more important question is “What’s a provost?”

The position of Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost oversees all educational issues, activities and, as the title states, affairs. He or she is also in charge of the university’s faculty.

The university has four candidates:

– Timothy J. L. Chandler, dean, College of the Arts, Kent State University.

– Robert G. Frank, dean and professor of Clinical and Health Psychology, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida.

– Walter Harris Jr., provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, Loyola University, New Orleans.

– Elizabeth Langland, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, Purchase College, State University of New York.

Frank came to Kent State Thursday and Friday. Two students met with him. The other candidates will most likely have a similar reception. Whoever receives the position will be responsible for our education for the next several years, making our lack of attendance a bad idea.

It’s not necessarily all the students’ fault. The names were officially released on a Friday when most students couldn’t care less about academics. There haven’t been any university-wide e-mails about the candidates or when they will visit Kent State. The meeting with Frank was at 10:30 a.m., a time when most students have class. As of Monday night, the Web site with the candidate bios and detailed visitation schedules was unavailable.

So far, it seems the only way students would find out about what’s going on with candidates has been through the Stater. While we certainly aren’t complaining about reporting it, we feel it would definitely benefit the student body more if the university tried to reach more students.

Sending out a fact sheet and a schedule, however, wouldn’t be enough. Given the average student’s already-busy schedule, the seemingly unnecessary meeting between student and candidate would be low on the to-do list. That’s why students need to know more about the position and why it’s important to know who exactly is going to be running the show.

Chandler will have his visitation days today and tomorrow. Seeing as he is dean of the College of Arts here, take the opportunity to go see him if his “visitation” doesn’t fit into your schedule.

Langland will come to Kent State Thursday and Friday. Harris will be here Feb. 5 and 6.

The university is going to choose one of these four regardless of your attendance. By showing up, you take an active role in your education.

You are at this university because you cared about your education and your future. Why stop now?

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board, whose names are listed to the left.