TCU Daily Skiff Wednesday, March 24, 2004
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Donovan preparing for provost transition
The provost office staff is getting ready for Nowell Donovan’s transition into his new position.

By Jarod Daily
Staff Reporter

Those who work closely with Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs William Koehler say they expect no major obstacles when Geology Chairman Nowell Donovan takes over.

Becky Roach, assistant to the provost, said the transition to the new provost should go smoothly.

“Rather, it will be a matter of the provost office staff adjusting to Dr. Donovan’s management style after having worked with Dr. Koehler for so long,” Roach said. “This will be a mutual learning experience for all involved.”

Assistant Provost Ann Sewell said the transition should provide some challenges, although not necessarily problems. She said one such challenge might be the fact that Donovan does not possess the same historical perspective of TCU that Koehler has.

“I foresee Dr. Donovan asking more questions than Bill Koehler might ask during the initial months as he seeks to familiarize himself with the processes and procedures of daily operation in the Provost Office,” she said. “However, Nowell is a quick study and I don’t foresee any major problems.

“I expect he will do some things differently, which is OK,” she said.

Donna Johnson, Koehler’s executive assistant, said she also expects no problems, but that she anticipates some changes to the running of the provost office.

“The staff in our office has been here for quite a long time and we may be a little too set in our ways,” she said. “But I know there will be changes and there is certainly room for improvement.”

Donovan said one way he is preparing for the transition is by attending as many meetings with university officials as possible. However, he said he doesn’t have time for as much preparation as he would like.

“My teaching schedule gets in the way some,” he said. “My timetable is incredibly full.”

Donovan said he has also had regular meetings with Koehler.

“Dr. Koehler has been the biggest help in getting to know how the job works,” he said.

Chancellor Victor Boschini said he recently spent some time thinking about how he could ease Donovan’s transition into his new position.

“I think the best thing I can do for him in preparation for the switch is to just listen to his questions, his concerns, his thoughts on the job in general,” he said. “I am also prepared to spend lots of extra one-on-one time with him during his first few months in office.”

Roach said all the staff members have met with Donovan several times to help him learn how the provost office is run.

“I have spoken with Dr. Donovan about his expectations and plans and tried to provide answers to his questions, and we have started keeping a calendar for him,” Johnson said.
Sewell said she is not doing anything different to prepare for a new provost from what she would do for any other new person in the office.

“Nowell Donovan knows where my office is located and knows I stand ready and willing to help in any way I am able,” she said. “I can’t foresee what items might be most critical to him.

“Whatever he needs to succeed in this position, we all will try to provide,” Sewell said. “I look forward to working to help him as he assumes his new role as provost.”

Donovan said he has been doing a lot of reading and that he is in the development stage of the job.

“Before, I knew what the provost did,” he said. “Now I’m learning how all that is done.”

Donovan said one of the biggest challenges will be getting to know the boundaries of the job.

“The provost has a different timetable from that of a normal faculty member,” he said. “I’m used to intensive 15-week semesters, but the provost’s job goes year-round.”

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