BATON ROUGE – LSU welcomed the second candidate for the position of executive vice chancellor & provost for an open forum on Monday, March 5. Kevin Carman, dean of the LSU College of Science, met with members of LSU’s faculty and staff in Charles E. Coates Hall.
Carman spoke to a group of faculty, staff and students on his vision for LSU and reflected upon the vision for the university that has been established and has been well thought.
“We all know the challenges we face as a university and have faced for the last few years and will face for the foreseeable future,” he said. “We’re hopeful that will be coming to an end soon, but we know that we still have challenges ahead of us.”
Carman outlined the university’s mission and vision statements and spoke further about the university’s goals, as outlined by Flagship 2020: discovery, learning, diversity and engagement.
Carman equated “discovery” with research and said the university should leverage strengths such as energy and environment; coasts and deltas; and unique regional culture and art. He said that LSU should leverage assets, included the Center for Computation & Technology, or CCT; Laser-Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO; Center for Advanced Microstructures Devices, or CAMD; LSU Press; and the Museum of Natural Science.
“These are just a few examples that I think as a university where we are dealing with limited assets that we need to make sure we realize what our strengths are and leverage them as best we can,” Carman said.
Carman also spoke about developing and leveraging partnerships with others in the state and internationally.
In focusing on the “learning” goal, Carman touched on the academics of the university, including enhancing graduate programs, promoting excellence and enhancing student services.
Carman mentioned programs and areas such as Communication across the Curriculum, the LSU Honors College, undergraduate research opportunities, Center for Academic Success, academic orientation/boot camps and Residential Colleges that are resource areas already in place that help enhance the student experience.
Carman talked about improving the university’s graduation and retention rates with the tools the university already has in place for students to succeed.
“I think to some extent, we need to look to ourselves … what could we as a faculty, what could we as a university do to bring out the best in these students while still maintaining our high academic standards?” he asked.
Regarding “diversity,” Carman said it is very important and the university is committed to it.
“We have to continue our commitment to diversity as an institution,” he said. “We need to promote a culture of inclusion ... with the majority of folks that we bring to campus, we need to bring folks that come to us with the notion that they want to be part of this culture of inclusion that they want to promote it.”
To enhance diversity, Carman said the university should be proactive and should work toward growing diversity as a whole, not just at LSU.
“I also believe that when we hire folks, faculty and staff, we need to realize that we’re not typically hiring individuals, we’re hiring families,” said Carman.
In promoting “engagement,” Carman said that LSU’s mission as a land, sea and space grant university calls it to be engaged with the larger community. Areas that Carman said the university should focus its engagement efforts include the private sector, statewide and regionally, K-12, arts and athletics.
“I’ve identified a few priorities, the things I think we need to engage with as quickly and aggressively as possible, and many of these things are already queued up,” Carman said.
These priorities included maintaining and growing undergraduate enrollment, attracting more and better students into graduate programs, developing a new business model, and keeping and hiring good people.
Following his presentation, Carman took questions from the audience on topics such as the Southern Review’s business model, the provost’s role in fundraising and what would he add to the Flagship Agenda.
Carman received both his Ph.D. and master’s degree from Florida State University. He earned his bachelor’s degree from McPherson College. He was named interim dean of the LSU College of Basic Sciences – now College of Science – in 2004 and has been dean since 2005.
Carman was the second of four candidates to be interviewed and give a presentation to the LSU community. On March 1, Robert “Bobby” Schnabel, dean of the School of Informatics at Indiana University, met with members of LSU’s faculty and staff in the Claude L. Shaver Theatre in the Music & Dramatic Arts Building.
The other candidates for executive vice chancellor & provost and the dates for their open forums include:
- Michael J. O’Brien, dean of the College of Arts and Science at the University of Missouri. He will give his presentation on Wednesday, March 7, at 2 p.m. in Room 143 of Charles E. Coates Hall. More information on O’Brien is available at www.lsu.edu/faculty_staff/provost/CV/OBrienMichaeVitaeLSUEVCP.pdf.
- Stuart R. Bell, dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Kansas. He will give his presentation on Friday, March 9, at 2 p.m. in Room 143 of Charles E. Coates Hall. More information on Bell is available at www.lsu.edu/faculty_staff/provost/CV/BellStuartVitaeLSUEVCP.pdf.
To learn more about the LSU executive vice chancellor & provost search, visit www.lsu.edu/provostsearch. Feedback from the LSU community on the candidates is encouraged and may be submitted online at www.lsu.edu/provostsearch by clicking on “Candidate Assessment.”