Vice Provost candidate addresses questions in public forum
- Apr. 1, 2012
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Vice Provost for Student Affairs candidate George McClellan answered questions about what he would do if he got the vice provost job during a public forum Friday afternoon.
Students have the opportunity to talk to all three candidates since whoever gets the position will serve as an advocate for students and coordinate programs and services for the student body.
“I’m a higher-ed geek and more importantly I’m a student affairs geek,” McClellan said while introducing himself before taking questions.
He said he views the job as a chance to help and encourage students through the academic process and aims to challenge, support and celebrate students.
“I’m a hand shaker and a hugger and a whooper and a hollerer,” McClellan said of his love of celebrating student achievement.
Felix Zacharias, a graduate student from Wichita, asked several questions about McClellan’s view of of the role of the vice provost in establishing rules for students and limiting students’ rights.
McClellan said that he had worked to change the student code at his current university to give the administration the power to suspend a student who causes substantial harm to another student, but he would respect the judgement of the student government in such cases.
Libby Johnson, student senate president, asked how McClellan thought the position would shift and what the biggest changes would be over the next five years.
McClellan responded by explaining the biggest issues facing higher education, which include the affordability and accessibility of college, high school students enrolled in college courses and promoting economic and social justice through universities.
“I believe we can use higher education as a tool, as a resource, and the brilliance of all of you, to create a world in which economic development and economic justice are harmonious notions,” McClellan said.
Zacharias was a fan of McClellan’s after hearing his sincere and humorous answers.
“If he can be the same person he was in that interview while in the position he wishes to fill at KU, I think we are going to have a fantastic vice provost for KU,” Zacharias said.
The two other candidates for the Vice Provost for Student Affairs will also talk to students in public forums this week. Beth Hellwig will be available Monday from 1:30-2:30 p.m. in the Centennial Room of the Kansas Union and Tammara Durham will speak with students in the Malott Room of the Kansas Union from 1:30-2:30 p.m. on Friday, April 6.
Edited by Christine Curtin