Faculty Senate talks diversity
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 01:09
At this semester’s first Faculty Senate meeting on Monday, acting provost Nancy Brickhouse gave updates about the freshman class, the budget and new faculty in Gore Hall.
She said the university is making progress in diversifying the population.
“The class includes 20 percent students of color,” Brickhouse said. “That’s an increase from 18 percent last year.”
She also said the university had 8,300 applicants for its graduate programs, a 4 percent increase from last year.
Brickhouse said the way the university acquires funding has changed over the last five years. Tuition made up about 42 percent of the budget in 2007 and is expected to make up to about 49 percent in 2012.
She said the comparison between 2007 and 2012 was relevant because 2007 marked the arrival of President Patrick Harker’s administration and the collapse of the American economy. She said the university has had a steady period of growth.
“In essence, we have become a tuition-driven institution,” Brickhouse said. “We need to continue to offer our students the kind of education they cannot get at a lower institution.”
She said the overall outlook is steady, but has its challenges.
Brickhouse also discussed newly assigned administrators. She said Ann Ardis is working as the interim deputy provost, Charlie Riordan will be serving as the vice provost for research and Nancy Guerra is the new associate provost for international programs. She also introduced the new admissions director, Jose Aviles.
“He is known for building bridges,” Brickhouse said. “We are very excited to have him here.”
Brickhouse said the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory will be open in late spring and the new space will be used to experiment with modern teaching techniques involving technology in the classroom.
She said it was important that they make sure classroom innovations are scalable.
“Sometimes we set up these boutique programs which are nice for just one class,” Brickhouse said. “We need to make sure that we can bring them to many classrooms.”
Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences George Watson presented information about the search committee for a new provost. Tom Apple, the most recent provost, left to become Chancellor of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Watson said the committee is made up of 17 members of the administration, faculty and students.
He said Harker was in charge of composing the committee based on nominations by the deans. There is at least one member from each college, Watson said.
“It’s a highly engineered committee,” he said. “We tried to get people who didn’t have parochial views of the university and who are able to think broadly.”
Watson said the committee is working with a search firm Spencer Stuart to find potential candidates for the position. He said the firm is helping to develop a “robust” pool of candidates.