Carol Bresnahan, vice provost for Academic Programs and Policies and professor of history at the University of Toledo, visited the College on Tuesday, Feb. 5. Bresnahan is the third candidate for the position of provost/executive vice president for the College.
The Provost / Executive Vice President Search Committee held a Q-and-A session for Bresnahan in the Mildred & Ernest E. Mayo Concert Hall.
During the session, Bresnahan said she was attracted to the College because she admires the successful transformation of the curriculum. She also said she liked that it is a public institution, like the University of Toledo.
“The profile of the student body here is a very impressive one,” she said.
Despite her admiration for the curriculum and the student body, Bresnahan said there were several things she would change as provost to advance the position of the College and enhance the experience of the students.
“The retention rate is wonderful here, but if you stand in place, you will lose ground,” she said.
Bresnahan said she would consider implementing a teaching and learning center, which the faculty could use to assess its own teaching capabilities.
She said this center could use student evaluators, who would sit in on lectures and provide feedback to the professors afterward.
She said the students’ feedback would be invaluable because it would be from a perspective that professors rarely experience.
“A student evaluator in the room can provide tremendous help when it comes to assessing your own teaching,” she said.
Bresnahan also said the teaching and learning center would instruct the faculty on how to integrate technology into its lectures. She said technology can help professors cater to the different learning styles of the students.
The teaching and learning center would also provide support and training for advisers, something that all three candidates felt was necessary.
“I asked students ‘What’s one thing would you want a provost to have on the front burner?” Bresnahan said. “They said, as if rehearsed, ‘advising.'”
According to Bresnahan, however, it is not the provost’s place to tell faculty members how to advise their students.
“To me, what the provost should not be doing is telling faculty how to advise, because they may do things differently for very good reasons depending on their departments.”
Instead, she said, the provost should work with the deans to study the advising process and come up with a plan to address and fix the problems each dean finds.
The other two candidates for the position are Concetta Stewart, dean of the School of Communications and Theater and associate professor of communications at Temple University, and Elizabeth Paul, interim provost and vice president and professor of psychology at the College. They held their Q-and-A sessions on Jan. 29 and Feb. 1 respectively.
To view the résumés of the candidates, visit the search committee Web site, provostsearch.intrasun.tcnj.edu.