As with our former evaluation of Associate Provost for Student Academic Affairs, we have completed our review of finalists for the second associate provost opening - faculty affairs and interdisciplinary programs.
You can find a full description of this position in our initial post on the topic. We encourage you to give it a glance and also to utilize the candidate information that was distributed through campus email.
Links to the infamous "Survey Monkeys" are below. Herein, in the absence of substantive input and influence, you may "share you concerns" with those possessing actual decision making power. Although a sham, we encourage you to utilize the mechanism we have been granted, such as it is. Please note: survey responses must be completed by 5pm tomorrow.
Being the involved and active student that he is, Jon was unable to meet every candidate and thus has not written an evaluation. Hopefully mine can suffice.
Make your voice heard:
An Evaluation: By Caleb Hamman
I was able to meet with all three candidates: Lynn Maurer, Laura Behling, and Fahima Aziz. After evaluating each of them, it seemed to me Laura Behling was clearly the person for job.
This associate provost position differs significantly from the first. Mainly, this individual's responsibilities will relate much more closely to faculty. Still, because I am a student, I evaluated finalists on the same three criteria as last time: their ideas on facilitating effective and genuine student learning, their ideas on student faculty interaction, and their own administrative abilities. Obviously, the two former categories involve significant faculty interaction with students. Thus I see these criteria as still being very relevant.
Fahima Aziz was the last of the finalists to visit Butler. Aziz appeared to have considerable skill in administration, and delivered what was assuredly the longest and most detailed PowerPoint presentation I've seen in some time. My main criticism of Aziz is that she appeared too administrative. If she had larger thoughts on university education, student learning, and student-faculty interaction, she didn't express them. I was given little reason to believe Aziz would be anything other than a technocratic, top-down operator of the administrative machine.
Lynn Maurer had many positives. She continually went out of her way to talk about difficulties faced by minority and female students. She called for shared governance of the university community and noted the importance of experiential learning for allowing students to develop into active citizens and genuine learners. Maurer also valued interdisciplinary programs, such as gender and peace studies, and saw them as useful mechanisms for facilitating community engagement. As a whole, I thought Maurer was a good candidate. She would definitely be my second choice.
Laura Behling blew me away. No PowerPoint - just an hour long conversation in the writers studio. Behling sat in chair and actually talked to the people present. Without prompting, she shared ideas about education, faculty-student involvement, and transformative learning. She referenced the work of individuals who have written deeply about these issues, and shared her own thoughts on the ideas in question. Behling took the time to tell us about her personal life, and asked questions to those who were present, valuing their own input and ideas. Simply put, Laura Behling was the best candidate for either associate provost position. She surpassed her fellow finalists by no small margin.