Arts dean says his experience sets him apart

Kevin Kolus

Provost candidate wants to improve freshman classes, university image

Provost candidate Timothy J. L. Chandler speaks to members of the faculty. As Kent State’s Dean of the College of the Arts, Chandler sympathized with many of the faculty members’ requests and concerns. TARA RAFTOVICH | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Ron Soltys

At an open faculty forum yesterday, Timothy J. Chandler, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost candidate, said his experience at Kent State is what sets him apart from other candidates.

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“This is my university,” he said. “I’m committed to this institution.”

Chandler, dean of the College of the Arts, was questioned by more than 50 faculty members at the Kiva in the search for the next provost. As chief academic officer, the provost is responsible for academics across all campuses.

A personal strength a provost needs, Chandler said, is individuality. Having lived in boarding schools for 10 years of his childhood, he learned how to listen and deal with people as an individual.

“You learn to be independent very quickly when you live like that,” he said. “I also learned that you have to stand up and be counted, which is why I am here.”

Since the provost position demands a person of broad academic knowledge, faculty asked Chandler what professional experience qualifies him for the job.

He said his experience as dean of the College of the Arts, in which he has little arts background, proves his flexibility in academics.

When asked about the provost’s role in ensuring student retention, Chandler said he would focus on bringing the university’s best faculty to freshmen classes to give students a richer experience.

“I think a provost can influence what students are asked to learn and what people we put in front of them to help them learn,” he said.

George Garrison, professor of Pan-African studies, asked Chandler how he would help diversify Kent State’s faculty and student population.

“I’m not sure I have a plan that is any better than anyone else’s,” Chandler said. “It is going to be difficult to diversify this campus.”

He told Garrison if he is to aid in diversity, he has to “lead with his ears” and would require the advice of faculty to succeed.

Chandler said he would like to improve the academic image of Kent State with the rest of the world. He said faculty and public relations has to get involved in communicating the qualities of the university.

“This institution is not as well respected as it deserves to be,” he said. “We don’t do a good job of letting other people know how good we are. I’d like to help change that.”

Chandler will be at an open forum with undergraduate students at 2 p.m. today in Room 310 of the Student Center and with graduate students at 2:30 p.m. in Room 306 of the Student Center.

Timothy J. Chandler — Dean of the College of Arts, Kent State

– Co-edited “Making the Rugby World: Race, Gender, Commerce.”

– Co-edited “With God on their Side: Sport in the Service of Religion” and “Manly Catholicism: Making Men in Catholic Public Schools” with Tara Magdalinski.

– Received his doctoral degree from Stanford University.

– A member of the Akron Area Arts Alliance, an advocacy organization promoting arts and cultural activities in Summit, Portage and Medina counties.

– Last spring, he asked for 102 replacement Steinway pianos.

– At Syracuse University, he played cricket and played on the Department of Health and Physical Education’s softball team. Donna Fecteau, who worked as a department receptionist when he was an associate professor, said “We’re always amazed he was able to catch a softball barehanded.” His wife played on the team as well.

– His middle initials are J.L., which stand for John Lindsay.

– Was on the search committee for a dean in the College of Communication and Information at Kent State in 2002.

– As a professor at Kent State, an anonymous rating on from March 2005 said he was “so wonderful and knowledgeable about sports history and professionalism.” He was also classified as a “hot” teacher.

– A member of Kent State’s presidential search committee.

– In an article from News Flash, a Kent State magazine, Chandler said Kent State’s College of the Arts, which was reorganized and named in July 2006, would unite the arts and help provide an identity for the programs at the university. “The schools within the college will work together to be mutually sustaining and mutually beneficial. Students will have the opportunity to broaden their understanding because of the interdisciplinary nature of the programs,” he said.

Contact academic affairs reporter Kevin Kolus at [email protected].