outlines plan to improve academics
members take a look at provost candidate Nowell Donovans
plans for the university.
Provost candidate Nowell Donovan stressed the significance
of the liberal arts and sciences in shaping and improving
the leaders of tomorrow in a forum for faculty and staff
The liberal arts and sciences are a tapestry upon which
the greatest thoughts, accomplishments and hopes for the
future of the human race are recorded, said Donovan, chairman
of the TCU geology department.
In the academic community, we are the guardians
of this tapestry, he said. We are charged
with connecting what is best in the human community through
time into the future.
Donovan is one of three final candidates for the position
of provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs along
with Florida International University chemistry professor
Arthur Herriott and Michael Mezey, dean of the College
of Liberal Arts and Sciences at DePaul University.
Donovan said complementing professional programs such
as business or engineering with a liberal arts outlook
has enhanced the education students in those disciplines
get at TCU.
What were really trying to do is achieve a
left brain/right brain equilibrium at TCU, he said.
We should enjoy both the liberal arts and our professional
programs and recognize that they can both be centers of
I consider the resolution of the tension (between
the liberal arts and the professional programs) one of
the prime responsibilities of the provost.
However, the liberal arts should not make academics inaccessible
to the rest of society, Donovan said.
We will not succeed in a mission of changing the
community we live in and making it a richer and better
place if we are an ivory tower, he said.
Donovan also outlined various improvements to the universitys
model of teaching he would make as provost.
He said he thinks senior faculty have a better outlook
on their disciplines to teach introductory-level courses
than do younger professors.
I would like to see an engagement by senior faculty
in teaching freshman courses, he said. I think
our endowed chairs should take a lead.
Donovan also said re-evaluation of faculty members should
include more than just student evaluations.
Groups of teachers should come together to talk
about each others performance and have a conversation
about how they can collectively improve, he said.
Religion professor David Grant addressed the concern some
faculty members have expressed that Donovans lack
of administrative experience could get in the way of being
an effective provost.
Donovan said he would go to those who know about the management
aspects of such a job and become a student.
Its an enormous amount to learn, he
said. Im not walking away from that, I realize
its a very serious commitment.
Faculty interviewed after the forum were very impressed
with Donovans presentation.
It was well organized and given in an inspired fashion,
and tremendously well presented, music professor
Blaise Ferrandino said.
candidate Nowell Donovan, the geology department
chairman, speaks to an assembly of faculty and staff