TCU Daily Skiff Tuesday, February 17, 2004
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Koehler to join in local election race
The provost says running for president of the school board is a way to stay active in education and the community.


By Julia Mae Jorgensen
Staff Reporter


Provost William Koehler filed to run for president of the Fort Worth school board Monday, saying the position would give him an opportunity to stay involved in education.

“I’ve never viewed my retirement as leaving something I’ve done for 35 years and just going cold turkey,” said Koehler, who will retire from TCU May 31. “The school board gives me an opportunity to continue what I’ve been doing for 35 years — that’s being in education.”

Koehler, who is also the vice chancellor for academic affairs, began his career at TCU in 1969: first as a professor and later as an administrator. He was named vice chancellor for academic affairs in 1980 and received the title of provost in 1994.

Koehler said that he had been considering running for quite some time.

“I was approached in late fall by a number of people and asked to consider it,” Koehler said. “I was of course flattered, but somewhat terrified as I’m not much of a politician.”

Koehler said he spent two months talking with various people about possibly running and what people were looking for in a president.

“I am very much of the opinion that different organizations need different strengths at different times,” he said.

Koehler said he originally planned to leave TCU a year ago, but then Chancellor Michael Ferrari announced his retirement. Koehler said he decided to stay another year to help the university and the new chancellor in the transition.

“I really didn’t decide to run until Lynne Manny made her decision not to run,” he said.
Manny, the current board president, told trustees Wednesday that she would not seek re-election. Manny’s husband, Gary, was elected board president in 1988. He held the position until his death in 2002. Manny won a runoff election to fill the remainder of her husband’s term.

Koehler said he could give three reasons why he chose run for the board. First, he said he had been in the business for 35 years and was not ready to give that up.
“I’m not ready to not be involved in education,” he said.

Second, he said he knows the district needs to hire a new superintendent and he has experience in recruiting and hiring executive positions.

“I do that with deans, athletic directors and chancellors,” he said. “I bring experience in recruiting leadership.”

Koehler said his final goal is to be a president who looks at the whole picture, not just a collage of districts.

“I want to improve the education of all citizens,” he said.

Koehler said his one goal for his possible presidency is to make a positive difference in the lives of young people.

“The future is out there,” he said.

The president of the board represents the district at large. Elections are May 15 and, if needed, a runoff is scheduled for June 19.

Ty Halasz/Staff Photographer
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs William Koehler will run for Fort Worth school board president. He retires from TCU in May.
 
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