Forum held to meet provost candidate

Story by Bella Utley, Contributing writer

On Nov. 7, Murray State held an open forum for faculty, staff and members of the campus community to meet with Robert Fischer, candidate for the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Fischer is currently the dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and worked as the chairman of the Department of Biology at University of Alabama at Birmingham and as the associate chairman of biology at Eastern Illinois University.

In his role at MTSU, he works with strategic planning, student success, performance funding, alumni projects and budget management.

Fischer said he was a first generation college student coming from a low- to mid-income household who was given opportunities by faculty and staff who cared about his progress. He wants to work for an institution with the same values.

He said he values how Murray State is comprehensive, student success oriented and unique in the commitment of community.  

Fischer said his morals include transparency of management, integrity, high expectations and positive group progression.

Faculty and staff at the forum asked questions concerning study abroad issues, liberal arts inclusion, underrepresentation on campus, student retention and campus growth.

Fischer said he conducted research at MTSU about males and females reaching achievements such as leadership, administration, tenure and family-oriented practices on their campus. The studies found there is no difference between the two, but the campus is working on groups to positively affect the perception of this issue.

He also emphasized his desire for student success and their community on campus.  He said he believes scholarships have an important role on every campus, as well as blending liberal arts in order for the student to receive a comprehensive education.

“Higher education was meant to be broader than the classroom,” Fischer said.

Another open forum will be held Nov. 9 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in Freed Curd Auditorium in the Collins Center for Industry and Technology for the second finalist in this position.