Low turnout for provost candidate

Amadeus Smith

Provost candidate Robert G. Frank chats with junior political science major Preston Mitchum, member of the Undergraduate Student Senate and the provost search committee, Friday morning in the Student Center ballroom. ELIZABETH MYERS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Jason Hall

The Kent State Student Center, usually an interstate jammed with between-class traffic, was nearly empty Friday.

The same held true for the undergraduate and graduate student conferences for Robert G. Frank, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost candidate.

Only two students attended the meetings held on the third floor of the student center: Preston Mitchum, junior political science major, and Suky Medina-Day, a graduate assistant in Spanish translation.

Charlene Reed, secretary of the Board of Trustees, said planning the two-day visit was tough because it had to fit around Frank’s schedule.

While he said he would have liked to meet with more students, Frank valued the one-on-one conversations.

After entering the Ballroom balcony, Frank never went for the table set up at the front of the rows of chairs. Instead, he threw his coat over the back of a chair and stood at the end of the empty back aisle where he and Mitchum, undergraduate senator for academic affairs, discussed student concerns.

Mitchum said students aren’t happy with the plus/minus grading system.

“It’s just kind of bad for the A student,” he said. “When I get an A, it’s usually a 91 — not a 99.”

Frank said he agreed with faculty. Without the system, those who worked for the 99 percent are punished because they are seen in the same light as those with lower As.

“You do have to differentiate between the 91 percent student and the 98 percent student,” he said. “It’s a way to recognize the higher performer.”

Medina-Day, an international student from Uruguay, told the candidate she is concerned with graduate assistant financial issues.

Today and tomorrow, Timothy J. L. Chandler, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost candidate, will be touring campus.

Interested in getting to know him? Here’s where he will be:

• 2:30 p.m. – Open forum with undergraduate students in Room 310 of the Student Center

• 3 p.m. – Open forum with graduate students in Room 306 of the Student Center

• 4 p.m. – Open faculty forum in the Kiva

“When one is healthier or gets better foods, one studies better,” she said. “I would love to eat organic foods, but I’m a G.A. (graduate assistant), and I don’t have enough money for that sort of thing.”

The meeting’s turnout, she said, also propelled her concern about graduate student participation.

“I expected so many people to be here,” she said. “We have to have more people here.”

Medina-Day said without meeting all the candidates, she is still not sure who will best fit the position but enjoyed talking to Frank.

“I did see he showed an interest in Kent State and what we (graduate students) thought,” she said.

Contact general assignment reporter Amadeus Smith at [email protected].