Provost prepares for future at TU
Timothy Chandler, Towson’s new provost and vice president for academic affairs, officially took office over the winter minimester.
The Towerlight spoke to Chandler about his first few weeks in office, and what he is looking forward to in his first semester since leaving his position at Kent State University in Ohio.
What do you hope to accomplish in your first semester at Towson?
There are two things I want to focus on. One is to listen carefully and learn as much as I can about the campus. I need to learn about the campus to understand the culture here. Each University has its own culture and its own way of thinking. I’ve come from somewhere else, where I spent 22 years there, so I just have to learn to appreciate the culture here. It’s a very unique and wonderful place.
Overall, I feel that my task is to ensure that you, the student, get the very best education experience possible. I also want to enrich the education experience as much as possible.
Are there any specific goals you have for yourself and your office this semester?
Not in particular. I just want to get to know this place as best I can, and get out in front of any problems that we may face along the way. Ultimately, it comes down to achieving the tasks that the president has put in place for us to accomplish.
Have there been any major challenges you’ve encountered since coming here?
Mainly it’s just been hard to get to know the place. It’s tough to try to block out memories from other institutions. You need to value the past, but you also need to move forward. My experience at other institutions hasn’t been a barrier, it’s just what happens when one changes institutions.
Are there any comparisons that you’ve made between Towson and Kent State? Are there any differences?
They are both about the same size. The single biggest difference between the two is that at Kent, the relationship between the faculty and administration was based on a collective bargaining agreement. For everything you wanted to do there you had to refer to that CBA. There’s no contract here, and the faculty and administration work collaboratively, it’s much less adversarial. At least that’s my initial response.
Are there any programs or plans you plan to bring here that you had at Kent State?
It’s a little early to say, but I don’t have any pet programs from Kent. I really would like to build and enhance programs that are already in place here. I see the programs that are already here, and they already have tremendous qualities. I really think that this University is a hidden gem, and I’d like to make it less hidden. There are fantastic programs all across this campus, from cyber security to the autism center, there’s a whole range of things here that are great.
Was it hard for you to leave a University that you had been at for 22 years?
I wouldn’t say so, it’s been incredibly refreshing for me. I would go with the saying that change is as good as rest. I have stimulated my thinking, and this place is an exciting place to be. Often times, if you stay at one place for too long, you can develop bad habits, and you get a thirst for newness. For me, it’s been a tremendous experience so far.
Is there anything that you’d like students at Towson to know about you?
When I was a high school student, I was a very poor student. I was lazy, and I just thought I was going to be a professional athlete. If you asked any of my friends back then they’d never say that I would be involved in education. But the more I got into education, the better I did, and it opened up a whole new world for me. So what I’d like students to know is that if you put your mind to anything, you can do anything. Many of us become complacent and don’t want to take risks. Take small and thought-out risks.