emphasizes academics at forum
members get an idea of how candidate Michael Mezey would
affect the university.
Provost candidate Michael Mezey highlighted the importance
of the universitys commitment to the liberal arts,
citizenship and leadership in an open forum for faculty
and staff Monday.
Higher education institutions such as TCU should be the
keepers and protectors of knowledge and the best things
that students should be learning, Mezey said.
We need to develop in our students the habits of
the heart and mind that they need to like more learning,
said Mezey, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
at DePaul University in Chicago. These are the things
that have always been the hallmark of an educated person,
the ability to think and read and listen critically (and
have) intellectual curiosity.
Mezey is one of the three final candidates for the position
of provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs along
with Florida International University chemistry professor
Arthur Herriott and TCU geology department chairman Nowell
Mezey also emphasized the importance of practical professional
We are and should be way past the time when some
of us view with thinly veiled contempt the professional
programs and schools that prepare students for the world
of work, he said.
Mezey said universities in the 21st century should be
a part of the communities in which they are contained.
We cant be and should not be a university
on the hill, a shining ivory tower with only the most
tenuous relationship with the society in which it exists,
The university needs to train students to be willing to
sacrifice their own interests for the good of the community,
an idea Mezey calls public virtue.
One thing to consider perhaps is a campus-wide discussion
of the term (public virtue) and how it might be implemented
in appropriate courses in core curriculum, he said.
Political science professor Donald Jackson asked Mezey
what he thought about recruiting students with top-level
academic performances by offering them scholarships comparable
to those offered to top athletes.
I think a university with an endowment the size
of TCUs needs to and should commit a significant
portion of that endowment to student financial aid and
bringing students to the institution, Mezey said.
Computer science professor Bonnie Melhart asked Mezey
for his opinions on expanding graduate programs at the
Im not convinced that creating new doctoral
programs is the best thing to do here at TCU, Mezey
said. I think that growth at the masters level
can be important because its a service to the community,
those programs have little financial constraint on the
institution and can contribute positively to the bottom
Daryl Schmidt, chairman of the department of religion,
said he is impressed with the background Mezey brings.
Its clear from his experience that he appreciates
the liberal arts and higher education, he said.
Miller/ Staff Photographer
candidate Michael Mezey (far right) fields questions
concerning his speech to faculty Monday in the Sid