The following is a letter sent to the editor and reflects the views of the author.
Dear Provost Search Committee Colleagues:
As you take on the enormous responsibility of selecting our next Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the 158 affiliates of the Department of Women & Gender Studies and the 108 affiliates of the Department of Comparative Race & Ethnic Studies would like to thank you in advance for your investment of time and your commitment to academic life at TCU.
We write also to offer suggestions for the recruitment of outstanding candidates. CRES and WGST faculty represent a cross-section of academic expertise, scholarly traditions, and disciplinary perspectives, with affiliates from all eight colleges and schools, plus Brite School of Divinity, the new School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and the new Medical School. As a leader in interdisciplinary teaching and learning at TCU for nearly 25 years, WGST has a unique vantage point from which to assess the academic needs of students and faculty; likewise, CRES has been deeply engaged in recent assessment and implementation of innovative academic initiatives. We therefore submit that the new chief academic officer of TCU must offer:
A demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
TCU’s VIA strategic plan is to take the lead on promoting diversity and building a community for all. As the steward of this plan, the new Provost must actively remove institutional barriers that block equal opportunities for underrepresented and marginalized groups; therefore, the selected candidate must have an impressive record of accomplishment addressing complex identity-based issues, especially as they intersect with curricular life.
A demonstrated commitment to interdisciplinary, socially-engaged inquiry in the liberal arts tradition
Our new provost must have a precise plan to address the well-documented obstacles to interdisciplinary inquiry, teaching, and learning on our campus. This plan should have a clear and specific role for the new School of Interdisciplinary Studies and its two flagship departments, Women & Gender Studies and Comparative Race & Ethnic Studies, but should include all colleges/schools at TCU.
A demonstrated commitment to shared governance and academic freedom
For TCU to meet VIA Goal #1: Strengthen Academic Profile and Reputation, our new Provost must have a compelling vision for the leadership role of faculty in the university’s core function: development and implementation of an enviable curriculum across all colleges and schools.
Finally, we expect the committee to actively construct a finalistpool that reflects the gender and racial diversity that TCU currently lacks. We are pleased that our colleague Dr. Lori Diel will serve as diversity advocate on the search and that a number of members have expertise in and commitment to DEI.
We are sending a list of highly qualified individuals who would be excellent candidates for the role of Provost. Each of these, nominated by the affiliates of WGST and CRES, embodies the principles outlined here and in TCU’s strategic plan. We urge you to contact each of them and encourage them to apply.
Again, we thank you for your time and your commitment to the academic mission of TCU.
Dr. Jeannine Gailey
Chair, Women & Gender Studies, School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Women & Gender Studies Advisory Council:
Dr. Nada Elias-Lambert, Harris College
Dr. Kylo-Patrick Hart, Schieffer College
Dr. M. Francyne Huckaby, College of Education
Dr. Sarah Robbins, AddRan College
Ms. Ebony Rose, MA, Student Affairs
Dr. Emily Farris
Interim Chair, Comparative Race & Ethnic Studies, School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Comparative Race & Ethnic Studies Cabinet:
Dr. David Colón, AddRan College
Dr. Jacqueline Lambiase, Schieffer College
Dr. Zoranna Jones, Harris College
Dr. Max Krochmal, AddRan College
Editor’s Note: An update on the provost search is expected to be given during Thursday’s Faculty Senate Meeting.
What are your thoughts about diversity on campus or other big issues? TCU 360 wants to know! We are now accepting opinion columns for tcu360.com. If you are interested in having a piece published, send no more than 2 pages on your desired topic to [email protected] We reserve the right to edit for brevity and style.