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Your faculty and staff news since 1965
April 18, 2005
Volume 40, Number 9

Acting provost sets goals

By Karen Wentworth

The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Reed Dasenbrock, became acting provost and vice president for academic affairs March 15. On June 1, he becomes interim provost for 2005-06, and this fall a national search will be launched to identify UNM’s next provost.

Dasenbrock is already at work on specific goals. “While I will be in an interim position during the next year, this is not an interim year for the university. We will move forward on a number of key initiatives,” he said.

The first and most important initiative is the continued process of reinventing and reinvesting in undergraduate education. The Freshman Academic Choices have done a great deal to enhance the success of all students. Dasenbrock said the next step is to develop a comprehensive suite of programs creating excellence in undergraduate education. These include defining more rigorous admission standards, improving advising, building stronger pre-professional programs, enhancing undergraduate research, offering an international experience to more students, doing more to encourage students to apply for fellowships and graduate school and building a strong Honors Program.

University College Dean Peter White will take the lead on developing this Agenda for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, a combined effort of Academic and Student Affairs.

A second initiative involves the agenda for the emerging majority. The state of New Mexico is one of only two states where minority populations combined make up the majority.
For the first time this year, the freshman class is also “majority-minority.”

As a leading university for Hispanic and Native American students and issues, UNM can and should be a model for the nation, Dasenbrock said. He is appointing two parallel faculty-led task forces to work on defining a road map to achieve this vision for the university.

Challenges include ensuring that all undergraduates succeed in college at the same rate; another is that Hispanic and Native American students go on to graduate and professional schools–especially UNM–at the same rate as the overall population.

Dasenbrock said, “There’s a lot of work to do, and I look forward to the challenges of the next year.”