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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Final candidate queried

    Provost finalist Robert D. Newman fields questions from a forum of UA students and staff in the North Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center yesterday afternoon. Newman was the last provost finalist to give a speech at the UA.
    Provost finalist Robert D. Newman fields questions from a forum of UA students and staff in the North Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center yesterday afternoon. Newman was the last provost finalist to give a speech at the UA.

    Robert D. Newman, dean of humanities at the University of Utah and provost finalist for the UA, addressed many issues that he thought he could improve at the UA and make it closer to being in the top ten best public universities.

    In yesterday’s forum he discussed issues such as diversity, budget cuts, teaching techniques, research and student retention.

    “”As a provost I will be a facilitator, caretaker, bridge builder and an entrepreneur. I enjoy the challenge of making a real difference to students and faculty. I am a fair minded person that will seek the appropriate counsel to make some decisions,”” Newman said.

    Liz Sawyer from the English department and OUTReach program asked Newman what he would do to help the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.

    “”I would raise funds for sexuality and gender studies. I think diversity is important, not because it is required, but because it makes the academy better. I view diversity in a very diverse way,”” Newman said.

    He also spoke of how he started a program in Salt Lake City, where Latinos comprise 25 percent of the population, to help families get legal status when asked how he could help reach out to minorities.

    Ann Parker, director of student services, asked Newman how he would help with student retention, of which the UA has a low rate.

    Newman said this problem is mainly a financial issue.

    “”The University of Arizona is only giving 3 percent of students financial aid. The price of tuition consists of two thirds of a third of (a) family’s income.””

    He said to help with student retention, the school needs to get students excited and get them involved in their undergraduate education.

    When asked how he would measure the state of a student’s education he said, “”The one-size-fits-all, and teaching-simply-to test approach is problematic. I think the university needs a new way to approach gen-eds.””

    He has a vision of inverting the academic pyramid so students take the classes they are interested in right away, instead of their senior year.

    He also plans to treat budget cuts fairly and transparently.

    “”I do not believe in across the board budget cuts. The staff is the backbone of the university, they are the ones that know where the skeletons are,”” Newman said.

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