Gaston says KSU needs more tenured faculty

Ryan Loew

Ryan Loew

Daily Kent Stater

Provost Paul Gaston closed a three-day series of budget meetings yesterday, praising the success of the presentations and noting the need for continued academic success despite static and reduced budgets.

During the meetings in the Moulton Hall Ballroom, deans from all colleges showcased the achievements of their faculty and students while proposing what resources they will need for coming years.

“When the presentations are made, deans learn from one another,” Gaston said. “Good ideas are spread. The executive officers are here, and they become well-informed of academic affairs. The information we offer here makes its way into the continuing discussion.”

Of all the needs presented at the meetings, Gaston said, the most important is more tenure-track faculty.

Ohio legislators have asked colleges to produce more successful Ohio graduates and citizens, Gaston said, but in order to do that, colleges need more faculty.

“We will continue to make the case to the state that to do the job they’ve asked us to do, really we need the resources that only the state can provide.”

Less state support has contributed to a tight university budget, Gaston said, and despite restraints, colleges should continue to look for ways to improve their programs.

“We recognize that we can’t simply stand still,” Gaston said. “You’ve got to be investing in your future opportunities, or you slide backwards.”

Maintaining enrollment is another key priority to both academic and financial success, said Pete Goldsmith, vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.

“Enrollment drives everything,” Goldsmith said, “and retention drives enrollment.”

Reallocating money to students by eliminating administrative positions is one way the university can get the most out of its lean budget, Gaston said.

“It’s something that’s been going on and something that will continue to go on,” he said.

Gaston will eventually propose how the division of academic affairs fits into the university budget, which is ultimately brought to the Board of Trustees by President Carol Cartwright.

And in the mean time, “We’ll continue this discussion,” Gaston said.

Contact administration reporter Ryan Loew at [email protected].