ACADEMIC FORUM OPENS CAMPUS DIALOGUE
Provost Carter addresses faculty, staff and students.
CULLOWHEE - Western Carolina University Provost Kyle R. Carter met with about 200 faculty, staff and students at an Academic Forum in the A. K. Hinds University Center on Tuesday, March 8. He opened the event by stating that he wanted to start a dialogue among participants, provide information, and address issues and concerns facing the entire university community.
Before taking questions, Dr. Carter described some of the challenges and opportunities associated with Western's rapid growth which is most obvious in the areas of rising student enrollment, campus construction, expansion of the physical campus with the Millennial Initiative, and expansion of the university's impact on economic development throughout the region.
While its mission remains focused on educating students, Western will become a national comprehensive university with a continued focus on Western North Carolina, said Dr. Carter. “Western has the ability to redefine itself – to keep the best of the past while integrating new values and practices for the future.”
The challenge, Dr. Carter added, will be to keep pace with rapid expansion while managing the changes that are coming. That means working smarter, not just harder; delegating authority and empowering people with new roles and responsibilities; planning effectively and using resources wisely; and fostering open communications and team building.
Questions and comments from the audience ranged from concerns for the environment as the campus grows to questions about office space, administrative staffing, the campus Master Plan, integration of new faculty, housing, distance education, and the role of the university as a focused growth institution with a responsibility for “growing” the intellectual capital of the state.
The discussion continued for about an hour and ended with a round of applause for the Provost and his wife, who was in the audience.