Provost candidate Martin denBoer made his pitch to administration, faculty and students as to why he is the best person for the job during his scheduled visit to campus last week.
DenBoer, currently the provost at Cal Poly Pomona, spent Thursday in meetings in the Loop and Friday in Lincoln Park. Over a two-day stretch, he met with university president Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, C.M., the board of trustees, the university’s faculty council, faculty at-large, staff and students.
Questions ranged from how, if appointed to the position, he would deal with issues such as diversity, the growth of contingent faculty, faculty salary and retention, the liberal arts programs and university budget issues.
One issue in denBoer’s background that kept coming up was his lack of experience in private institutions. Prior to starting his current position in 2008, denBoer spent more than 25 years in the City University of New York system.
However, denBoer assured faculty that he has been, and still is, adaptable to different types of institutions, as “New York and California are different states when it comes to running higher education.”
The candidate said that what drew him to DePaul was the university’s mission.
“It’s a private university, but it’s a private university that really sees its mission in a very public way,” denBoer said. “I’ve been in public universities for most of my career because of what I see as the importance of higher education. But DePaul, even though it’s private, has this real commitment to access to higher education.”
After being questioned, DenBoer was given an opportunity to get feedback from the various groups he met with. Students were understandably concerned about the cost of education as well as diversity. They also expressed a desire for more research opportunities, something they say the school is currently lacking in.
When asked what they want out of a provost, faculty members said they want a good listener who gives feedback, someone who will give the university academic direction, better communication and collaboration across colleges. They also want someone who would foster support for both programs that are revenue centers and ones that are cost centers, and more support for faculty research.
The next candidate, James Coleman, will be on campus Monday and Tuesday of this week. The third candidate, Alan Ray, will visit Thursday and Friday.