During his visit to Main Campus Feb. 26, Dr. Jeffrey Seemann, the last of five finalists in the provost search, said he was excited to discuss his vision for Temple with students.
“This is where you find out about the university,” Seemann said, adding that having students engaged is absolutely key.
To encourage student involvement in the search process, the provost search committee distributed feedback forms to students who were present when candidates visited campus. Vicki McGarvey, special assistant to President Ann Weaver Hart, said all of the forms were reviewed by the search committee and will be considered during the selection process. During spring break, the committee met with Hart to recommend a candidate.
By April, Hart is expected to appoint a new provost, allowing that individual to be involved in the selection of a new dean for the College of Liberal Arts, McGarvey
As dean of the College of the Environment and Life Sciences at the University of Rhode Island, Seemann was involved in the creation of learning communities where he met with students regularly to address any problems with faculty or coursework or just to talk.
“A university gives you the opportunity to find yourself,” Seemann said.
At Oberlin College, a small liberal arts school in Oberlin, Ohio, where he received his Bachelor’s degree with honors in biology, Seemann said his relationship with faculty helped him find himself.
“Oberlin gave you great contacts with the faculty and I would try to create that small liberal arts environment here,” he said.
Seemann views Temple as the future of higher education and is a supporter of the university’s new General Education initiative.
“We are an increasingly urbanized society. Higher education has to be integrated into all fabrics of life and Temple is an excellent example,” Seemann said.
According to Seemann, the Gen-Ed program is meant to create new opportunities for students outside their majors and allow them to take a variety of classes like volleyball, philosophy and economics.
“College is meant to prepare you for life and life is a little more difficult than your discipline or major,” he said.
Junior broadcast journalism major Katelyn Zumpino said she thought Seemann had a very strong vision about what he’s trying to accomplish here and complimented him on his ability to speak intimately with students.
As the father of four daughters, Seemann said his daughters have shown him how things are constantly evolving, including the need to encourage gender diversity within universities. If selected, Seemann also would like to see a higher proportion of female faculty members at Temple.
LeAnne Matlach can be reached at email@example.com.