Search for new provost continues

by Josephine Villalta

San Diego State hosted a second open forum as part of its search for a new provost.  The Dean of the Undergraduate Division at University of California, Berkeley, Tyler Stovall presented his plans if he were to become the next SDSU provost on Tuesday, March 4.

Stovall attended Harvard for his bachelor’s and received his doctorate from University of Wisconsin. Stovall has previously taught at Ohio State, UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley.

He said the provost’s job is to be a public advocate for a university’s values, be a cheerleader for faculty research and discuss innovative teaching and learning through the research programs.

“I think it is important for the provost and other administration leaders to work with student affairs to ensure students’ success and to strive for the creation of living-learning communities,” Stovall said.

He said the provost is responsible for supervising and mentoring college deans as well as helping them establish the next generation of academic leadership on campus.

“One of the things the provost has to understand is that he or she does not know any given academic community nearly as well as the people who inhabit it,” Stovall said. “Its up to him or her to take their advice but also offer an  independent perspective.”

The provost should explore creative ways for SDSU to contribute to the community, Stovall said.

“People who have never stepped foot on this campus could have their lives improved and changed by the work that goes on here at SDSU,” Stovall said.

He also addressed the strategic plan, saying the provost plays a role in implementing the will of the faculty and the student’s documents.

He said his leadership style is hands-on and involves talking to a large variety of people to make informed decisions. Much of his style is based of years of working within universities.

“I’ve really gotten to know about the world of staff in a university,” Stovall said. “I enjoyed meeting a lot of them and how they are incredibly hard-working and really dedicated.”

Stovall said aside from working in a university he has a passion for study abroad programs and research.

“I believe in these different approaches of learning and the creation of new knowledge,” Stovall said.

Leaving behind his job as UC Berkeley’s Dean of the Undergraduate Division may be difficult for Stovall, but he said he looks forward to the challenges at SDSU, as well as meeting to meeting and working with students and faculty he’s chosen.

“Berkeley has its own challenges and I feel like it’s often nice to try something different,” Stovall said. “It’s nice to come to a place where you can really make a difference.”

The next candidate, Chukuka Enwemeka, will speak Tuesday March 18 at the Atzec Student Union Theatre.