Candidates are narrowed down for vice provost position at WKU

Natalie Hayden

The search for a new associate provost for Graduate and Advanced Studies/associate vice president for Research has been narrowed down to a final three candidates.

The position will be under the direction of Gordon Emslie, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, and Gordon Baylis, vice president for Research.

“I think what we’re thinking here is we really need to be very much more centered on students,” Baylis said. “Their main role is to work with the graduate students, obviously, but they will work very closely with the provost and very closely with me.”

Emslie said they “deliberately chose not to define” the position too closely.

“We want to see the candidates’ view on how research integrates into Graduate Studies,” he said.

The associate provost for Graduate and Advanced Studies/associate vice president for Research will replace the current position of dean of Graduate Studies and Research.

The latter oversaw all the graduate programs on campus. Emslie said they’re expanding the position to include deeper integration into research.

“We wanted to change the title to reflect interplay between teaching and research,” Emslie said.

Graduate students can have a huge impact on a university, Baylis said.

“If what they’re studying, what they’re teaching, what they’re researching is done more strategically, we the institution will be so much better off,” he said.

Baylis said his two main concerns are what graduate students are doing to help the faculty in their research and how graduate students can help with the teaching of undergraduate students.

“We’re not saying we’re going to have all the teaching done by graduate students — we’re not,” he said. “But what I’ve found is that a lot of, perhaps most, undergraduates like to have both the professor and a graduate student as resources in the classroom.”

Doug McElroy, associate vice president for Enrichment and Effectiveness and head of the search committee, said there was a “good, very diverse pool of applicants.”

The three candidates are Kinchel Doerner, the current interim dean of Graduate Studies and Research at WKU; Jennifer Keane-Dawes, the dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; and Bruce Landman, interim and founding dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at the University of West Georgia.

The candidates will each have an open forum, which Emslie said he encourages students to attend.

“We want the candidates to be aware of the acute interests students have,” he said.

The first forum, for Doerner, took place yesterday in the Mass Media and Technology Hall auditorium. The next forum, for Keane-Dawes, will take place on March 1 at 3:15 p.m. in the same location.