Doerner first to take part in forum for open associate provost/VP postition

Natalie Hayden

WKU’s Kinchel Doerner spoke at the first forum in the search for a new associate provost for Graduate and Advance Studies/associate vice president for Research.

Doerner is the current interim dean of Graduate Studies and Research, which is the position that will be replaced and expanded to take on a larger role. He has been with WKU since 1996.

In his presentation, Doerner said the duty of a graduate dean is to promote critical thinking and scholarship. He said he would be a strong advocate for the program.

“I think what a graduate dean should do is promote scholarship,” he said. “I think in that sense it is very simple. It’s not simple to implement, but it’s a simple idea.”

Another duty of the graduate dean is to provide helpful student services, Doerner said.

“I would like to see my office take more of a lead in helping students write,” he said. “Not only to write more correctly in terms of grammar and structure, but motivating the student to get started early.”

During the question and answer portion of the forum, Elizabeth Lemerise, a psychology professor, asked about the possibility of students earning credit as an undergrad for both their undergraduate degree and the graduate program.

“This is a great example of something the graduate council should take up,” Doerner said. “This is the kind of governance issue that is critical to having the graduate council engaged.”

David Lee, dean of Potter College of Arts and Letters, asked what Doerner saw as the biggest opportunity for WKU graduate studies in the next 5-10 years. Doerner said he could see WKU possibly offering professional doctorate degrees.

“The main challenge we would face here, if this were going to be true, is what Ph.D programs do we want to offer?” he said.

Doerner also said he may consider making the process of selecting graduate teachers’ assistants more rigorous because many graduate students have had trouble teaching labs and finishing their coursework on time.

“Assessment of graduate programs can actually be a tool to expand scholarship in the discipline,” he said.

The next forum will take place Thursday at 3:15 p.m. in Mass Media and Technology Hall Room 166. Jennifer Keane-Dawes, dean of graduate studies at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, will be the candidate presenting.