Third candidate presents ideas for executive position

Associate Life Editor Tyler Hargett

The position of Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost is nearing fulfillment as the third candidate, Ross Alexander, Ph.D., spoke Thursday at 3:30 in the Commons room 330.

Alexander is the dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Indiana East University. Rather than using a PowerPoint presentation, he allowed questions from the audience about his ideas and positions for a more personal experience.

In the past, Alexander has gained experience with “cultivating a culture of diversity” in the realm of a university.

Alexander said he likes to see students graduate that have gone on a couple of Study Abroad trips, in which the fees are “subsidized almost completely” through online education.

The expansion of online education was one of the main topics Alexander discussed. If hired, he said he hopes to find and recruit new students (whether transfer, in-state or out-of-state) and give the option of class schedules with online classes only, while having every student paying a special online tuition rate.

“It can expand (UNA’s) already stellar academic program,” Alexander said. “If UNA is going to engage new students and grow and generate additional credit hours, you’re going to have to explore the expansion of online education at the graduate and probably the undergraduate level.”

When asked about innovation he would bring to UNA, Alexander said he enjoys bringing a new perspective to long-time challenges or issues.

“I still think like a faculty member,” Alexander said. “I prefer a decentralized, administrative structure to get the money as close to the faculty as possible. If somebody says ‘well, we’ve never done that around here before,’ I don’t care. If it makes sense and it seems to have support, let’s give it a try.”

In defining his vision for UNA, Alexander said he hopes to get familiar with as many people in the community as possible.

“Dr. Kitts’ vision for the campus is something I very much want to get on board with,” Alexander said. “There’s an energy here that is infectious, and I want to be a part of it.”