Open forums held for the eight candidates in Student Center
By: KATIE HAYES
As the July 1 deadline for the campus provosts to take office approaches, the search continues to narrow.
Open forums were held with the eight candidates for the new Meramec provost position on March 23, 24 and 25. The 50-minute forums were held in the Student Center. The candidates are both provost and associate provost candidates for the STLCC campuses.
Last fall, it was announced that each STLCC campus will move from the president model to the provost model. Meramec, Forest Park and Florissant Valley are each set to implement a provost position, while Wildwood will implement an associate provost position.
Vice president of academic affairs and interim campus president, Janet Walsh, currently holds the two positions which will be consolidated into the provost position. Walsh is one of the eight candidates applying for Meramec provost.
“I think being an internal candidate is very helpful because that learning curve has already happened,” Walsh said at her Meramec forum on Friday, March 25.
The first two forums took place Wednesday, March 23 — one for Dana Grove and one for Hasan Naima.
Grove, currently interim dean of instruction at Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, MO, advocated for active learning strategies in the classroom, but said it should be faculty who make decisions about curriculum. Grove began as a professor before moving into administration.
“As an administrator, I have always still kept in the classroom teaching at least one class,” Grove said at his Meramec forum. “I will always remain, at least to some degree, in the classroom.”
The second candidate that day, Hasan Naima, most recently served as president of the business and technology campus at Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, MO.
Thursday, March 24, three more canididates were introducted at Meramec to answer questions.
Larry Johnson, current associate dean of academic affairs at Broward College-South Campus, spoke at 9 a.m. that morning.
Johnson’s approach is to evaluate student learning outcomes and build programs which increase student retention, enrollment and completion rates according to the biography he sudmitted to STLCC.
Ben Latigo, who most recently served as vice president for acadmeic affairs and chief academic officer at Daniel Webster College in Nashua, NH, discussed how he thought the new provost model would affect Meramec.
“With the new chancellor, you’re moving away from the view of separate campuses to one institution,” Latigo said at his Meramec forum. “The campus provost model is less top heavy.”
Latigo also answered questions regarding curriculum decisions.
“There needs to be more accountability in terms of what we are doing for the students,” Latigo said.
Latigo also answered questions regarding running STLCC as more of a business.
“A college — such as this one — is nonprofit,” Latigo said. “However, the Chancellor, CFO, has to run this as a business. Here, our primary business is to offer education to students. The business here is to make our students successful.”
Carol Lupardus, current vice president for academic affairs at Florissant Valley, was the last to speak that Thursday. Lupardus served as acting vice president of acadmeic affairs at Wildwood before moving to Florissant Valley.
The last day of forums, Friday, March 25, the final three candidates were introduced.
Evon Walters, former president of Miller College in Michgan spoke at 9 a.m.
Janet Wlash followed at 2 p.m. the same day.
“I see [the provost] as being the face of the campus,” Walsh said. “I think it’s important for the four provosts to build relationships and get to know each other.”
Walsh said that her leadership style is collaborative.
“I think it’s important to talk to people who decisions affect,” Walsh said. “I don’t think we’re finished in our chaotic world of change. I think communication is really important.”
While there is a current description for the campus provosts, the specifics of the future provosts’ responsibilites are not yet set in stone.
“[The position] may look different in a year or two than it does today,” Walsh said.
The final candidate, Vincent Beach, former vice president of academic affairs at Lincoln College of New England in Connecticut spoke at 4 p.m. on March 25.
According to Beach’s biography he submitted to STLCC, Beach’s career is focused on educational management and leadership.