Provost speaks on institutional renewal today


University Provost and vice-president academic Harvey Weingarten presents his annual State of the Academy address at 12:30 p.m. today in HSC-1A5. Weingarten will speak on the “Thrills of Institutional Renewal.”

“We are entering a time, I think, of institutional renewal at all levels. Due to retirements, people here will witness a turnover in faculty, and probably staff, which hasn't been seen since the early 1960s,” says Weingarten.

Institutional renewal will occur in many ways. There will be physical changes as reflected in the renovation and refurbishing of buildings and facilities, and the hiring of many new faculty to replace retiring professors. There will also be philosophical and directional changes as the institution seeks to reconsider its role as a university and its commitment to students in this century.

“The world today is not the same kind of world it was 40 years ago,” says Weingarten. “The university is not the same either. University is no longer a place for the idle rich or the elite. There's a much higher percentage of high school graduates going to university now. In today's world, university is a necessary credential.”

It can't be business as usual for universities either, says Weingarten, when a university is bringing on 40 new faculty. “How does a university behave when we do this? What kind of support do we provide for them? How do we budget for these new professors? Where do we put everyone when space is at a premium?”

Weingarten says one of the ways of dealing with institutional renewal, and the change that will come with it, is through planning. “We hope to get more people involved in the planning of change.”

Weingarten's address will be covered by the Daily News and posted on the University Web site later this week.