This week I got the opportunity to get in contact and sit down with provost-chief learning officer Deborah Curtis. Dr. Curtis is a very smart lady that I greatly enjoyed talking too. Her position is entitled provost chief officer, it is a very unique title, this because most places have the same position but with the name of Provost vice president of academic affairs. President Ambrose modified that name to what it is now because he “consoladated” areas that on other campus’s would be separated, together into one big area. This because he rather have one big group of people that work with all the public and student affairs and meet daily. So most areas that in other schools would have their own areas and own provosts, such as student affairs all fall within the same provost here at the University of Central Missouri. The goal is “to eliminate the obvious silos” and the ones that are left or still in place will keep getying better. By putting all these provost and areas under one big one it forces more interaction within these areas to fix problems ahd keep student programs going in the right direction.
Dr. Curtis described as a team environment due to the amount of communication involved daily in her role. Also mentioned that one of the most important things mentioned at the beginning or at some key point in every meeting is asking ” How does this impact the students”, this because students “are and will always be the number one priority for us”. When asked about a daily challenge faced or challenges that she faces often Dr. Curtis said that she would say that there are challenges daily but that major challenges show up at the end of every year because of new hirings, retirement or the adding of positions. This is so important and big key of their succes as a group because communication and getting to know this new person quick is a priority because of all the communication involved in this job. Curtis mentioned also the proudest moments for her in the past couple of years which included her being extremely proud of the growth of International Students population here on campus. Also connected to that the amount of native students that have gone to study abroad and most importantly during times were it’s been tough to grow in enrollment number the University of Central Missouri has continued the growth of enrollment yearly and “will continue to grow”.
Drawing a conclusion the University of Central Missouri is doing great things to help our student body and that makes me proud to be a student here at UCM knowing that the higher people on campus are concerned about students and are working hard to make things better daily.